With real racial trauma rising at Suffield High School, a group of concerned Suffield residents and parents attended the Board of Education (BOE) meeting on May 2nd. I am no stranger to public town meetings, so I took the liberty to ask the BOE a few hard questions. Below is my public comment that I read aloud and am now asking readers to consider what enough looks like to them.
Read aloud by Liz Warren at the Board of Education meeting on May, 2nd 2022:
In August of 2020 board members told me that Suffield is enough. That we are inclusive enough and that we have enough diversity.
The Webster definition of the word enough is “as much or as many as required”. In other words, enough means plenty or that there is no need for more.
What would more look like to our district? More teachers of varying identities. More male teachers in the lower schools. MORE teachers of color (since we currently have 0), more teachers in the LGBTQ community.
So where does the enough come in for you?
The fact that we teach about Martin Luther King on MLK Day and Harriet Tubman and Rosa Parks during Black History Month? Or is it enough to the Board that our teaching staff does not reflect the population of our students??
With respect to my time, I want to say that while the Board feels that Suffield Public Schools have enough curriculum, instruction, and “diverse” teachers, I’m here to say that the community, has had enough. We’ve had plenty and we have no room for more – enough of the bigotry, discrimination and racism that has been displayed to our students, to our children by members of our school system – by both students and faculty – by both classroom teachers and building administrators. Going back to our thoughts of enough – do you really feel like Suffield is enough, OR is there room for us to be more? Room for us to be better, to learn and grow together?
What would that look like for you? I’m not here to make enemies – I have a lot of skin in this game – my children are here. They love Suffield, they love their friends, their baseball teams – because that’s where they experience true unity. I only wish they would come home and tell me they also love Suffield Public Schools. It can’t be watered down to “it’s just school, no one likes school” or “kids will be kids”. They love learning, but the environments they’re in are challenging and uncomfortable at best.
So again, the community has had enough – I hope you have too and seek to become more.