GPISD Board Adopts Resolution to Address Racial Equity
At the June 22, 2020 called meeting of the GPISD Board of Trustees, the Board made a bold statement to address issues of racial equity in our community.
By a unanimous vote, the Board adopted a sweeping resolution that commits the Trustees and the Superintendent of Schools to taking action. The resolution calls for equity and cultural bias training as well as the formation of a Racial Equity Committee comprised of Board-appointed community members and at least two Board members.
“This resolution is about action,” said Board President Aaron King. “Our Board is committed to modeling behaviors and practices that will ensure we’re part of the larger solution for our students, their families, our staff, and community.”
The resolution states the Board stands in solidarity with its students and community to declare that the lives of black students and black people matter. It goes on to clarify that this declaration “does not negate the commitment to serve all students but rather reaffirms the Board’s commitment to addressing the disparities and inequity of different student groups.”
Also noted in the resolution is previous action taken by the Board in December 2019 to approve an African American Studies course to begin in the fall of 2020. Grand Prairie ISD is among the first group of districts in the state to offer this course.
The full text of the resolution may be found below.
For more information, please contact Sam Buchmeyer, GPISD Public Information Officer, at (972) 237- 5380 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Resolution of the Board of Trustees of the Grand Prairie Independent School District
WHEREAS, the Board of Trustees (“Board”) of the Grand Prairie Independent School District (“District”) is authorized by Texas Education Code § 11.151 to govern and oversee the management of the public schools in the District; and
WHEREAS, the Board recognizes that current events call for leaders to take a stance on issues that affect the community; and
WHEREAS, the murder of unarmed Black men and women around the country has prompted a nation-wide call for change; and
WHEREAS, the Board stands in solidarity with its students and community to declare that the lives of Black students and Black people matter; and
WHEREAS, the Board recognizes that the District, out of a total of approximately 30,000 students, is composed of 17.5% African American students; and
WHEREAS, the Board’s declaration that the lives of Black students and the Black community matter does not negate the commitment to serve all students but rather reaffirms the Board’s commitment to addressing the disparities and inequity of different student groups; and
WHEREAS, the Board of Trustees and Superintendent of Schools, will partake in equity and cultural bias training to understand how to better meet the needs of our diverse student population; and
WHEREAS, the Board of Trustees and the Superintendent of Schools, will work toward a more inclusive district, with the implementation of African American studies in the fall of 2020; and
WHEREAS, the Board will continue to promote culture with the belief that “diversity creates an inclusive environment that prepares and promotes student success in our global society” as stated on the District’s website; and
WHEREAS, the Board further declares that, when it sees racism the Board will address it directly, when it hears words of prejudice , the Board will speak out against them, and when it learns of an act of intolerance, especially on any properties of the District, the Board will confront the situation and take action with urgency and unity; and
WHEREAS, Board Policy BDB (LOCAL) provides that the Board may create from time to time committees as it may deem necessary or expedient to accomplish a specific but limited purpose; and
WHEREAS, Board Policy BDB (LOCAL) states further that the powers and authority of such other committees shall be limited to study and reporting to the Board the results of any studies authorized. Such committees shall possess no implied or other powers except as expressly authorized by the Board.
NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT, the Board of Trustees will create a Racial Equity Committee composed of members appointed by the Board to deal with matters related to discrimination, racism, or prejudice, to promote ideas of diversity and equity, to make the Grand Prairie Independent School District more inclusive, and to make recommendations to the Board of Trustees to accomplish these goals; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT, pursuant to Board Policy BDB (LOCAL), the Board may provide for Racial Equity Committee membership in such manner as it then deems appropriate. Additionally, the Board may provide for the method of appointing members to such committees and must ensure such committee’s membership includes at least one Board member.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT, the Racial Equity Committee shall be made up of a minimum of two board members, but no more than three. Further, the Racial Equity Committee shall have a total membership of no less than seven members and no more than ten members to be comprised of staff, community, and business leaders within the District as appointed by board members.
PASSED AND APPROVED this 22nd day of June 2020, by the Board of Trustees for the Grand Prairie Independent School District.