School board planning equity policy

South Whidbey School Board took its first steps towards evaluating its education system by agreeing to draft an equity policy.

During a board of directors meeting last Wednesday, Superintendent Jo Moccia referenced the petition that South Whidbey sophomore Jackson Murphy created. It calls for education around hate speech and black history in the school district. The change.org petition has nearly 3,000 signatures.

“His experiences and recommendations are certainly to be considered,” Moccia said. She suggested there is a need to draft a new equity policy for the school board to discuss further. The policy will have three readings so the public may comment.

Moccia and policy board member Andrea Downs will work together to draft the policy.

“We need to have these conversations, but I want people asking for these conversations to truly be aware that these are hard conversations and they will likely bring out and expose our own personal biases,” Downs said.

Board member Brook Willeford agreed and recommended, for a start, supporting the Black Lives Matter movement and taking care not to whitewash history.

“I believe that we’re on the right course, but we have more to do,” Willeford said.

Downs said it would be helpful to have the voices of people of color contribute to the new policy. A business meeting is scheduled for July 22, a workshop for Aug. 12 and business meeting Aug. 26.

The public is invited to attend both workshops and business meetings held by the school board.

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