Wayne's Corner

Wayne Kermenski

Marlboro School Principal

SCHOOL BOARD REPORTS

WEEKLY FRIDAY NOTES


Memo: Stronger Together

6/7/20

Dear Marlboro School Community,

The past few weeks have highlighted the hundreds of years of pervasive injustice and inequity in our society. George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and countless other black individuals, both known and invisible, have been in my deep thoughts along with their families.

As a dad I think about what it would be like if my child was murdered, or if I were harmed by the people we pay to protect us, what it would mean to my family. As a principal, I feel a renewed sense of responsibility to send our students into the world as anti-racist citizens.

I acknowledge that the conversations, the collective heightened emotional response, the actions, protests, petitions and more are a loud reminder that we need change. I am energized to pursue the right future for ourselves and the generations that follow. I will work for a future based on knowledge, understanding, equity, compassion and love. A future that puts all perspectives at the center instead of perpetuating the white biases found in textbooks, which for too long have been uncontested.

For example, in science students read about the accomplishments of men like Albert Einstein. In history, kids learn about Civil Rights, the American Revolution, and the colonization of the United States in terms of how it affected white people. All disciplines and curriculum need to include the perspective of non-white people. Our students, who are majority white children, should have an opportunity to recognize how racism persists today, unpack their experience, and be vulnerable in a safe environment.

I stand by the groups working to bring equity to our communities like Black Lives Matter, The Root Social Justice Center, Collaborative Educational Services in Northampton, the Marlboro School Board, our educators and, in particular, our outstanding student body that demands a better future.

The education system has work to do. The teachers at Marlboro School continue to demonstrate an alternative to mainstream thinking. Our community is well positioned to lead this long overdue change because of our Board, teachers and families like you. I believe we can do it.

I am committing to the following:

  • Owning that my actions don’t always equal my intent.

  • Listening.

  • Collectively expanding our curriculum to include diverse content and perspectives.

  • Actively seeking professional development to increase my knowledge of black communities and unpack my implicit biases.

  • Supporting field research that creates authentic connections with other communities to increase understanding of our diverse society.

As Nelson Mandela once said, “education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Please join me in making Marlboro School an educational institution committed to breaking down racial injustices and building a just future for Black children.


Sincerely,

Wayne

Marlboro School Principal

wkermenski@marlboroschool.net