Six speakers implored the board to take measures to ensure the implementation of the required Ethnic Studies curriculum before the 2022-2023 school year at Monday’s board meeting.
Alumni and current students from both MVHS and LAHS spoke about the necessity and urgency of a required ethnic studies class for next year’s freshman class.
Emphasizing a need for dedicating more time and funds to finally educate students on the history of racism and current issues, junior Krissy Koh spoke about the necessity to educate on the history of racism as well as its impacts on our current society.
“The board clearly values highlighting culture… but ethnic studies actively fights [racism],” Koh said.
While a social justice class is available, she said she believes it isn’t enough, as there is more to learn, and it doesn’t provide the opportunity to have in-depth discussions.
One LAHS alum spoke about the passion in the community to start the class where students have a place to learn about their community that is such a “melting pot” of different backgrounds.
An LAHS senior said that he believed that the class would be helpful to students and necessary to learn how to be a productive member of society. He explained that the value of the class was so students could learn these lessons in a classroom environment rather than on their own.
Arguing that the board must do more than a verbal commitment, the speakers said they would like to see the board make this class a requirement for the upcoming 2022-2023 school year.
Board president Fiona Walter responded positively to their comments.
“The board wants to do this… and is in your corner,” Walter said to the speakers.
Two of the speakers were the creators of Justice Vanguard, an organization whose goal is to use education and conversation to achieve racial justice.
At their last meeting, the board announced that they received seven emailed public comments regarding the ethnic studies course.