UPPER MARLBORO, Md. – Students in Prince George’s County will be learning about and discussing the Black Lives Matter movement in the classroom. The Prince George’s County School Board voted unanimously to pass a resolution called the “Black Lives Matter Week of Action in Schools.”
It will start on Monday and will continue through the week at all schools in the school district.
While the words and movement behind Black Lives Matter can be controversial, school board members said this is about encouraging conversation and reflection about social justice in schools.
The Black Lives Matter Week of Action in Schools is actually a national movement started by a group of teachers, parents and administrators. Prince George’s County Public Schools will be one of the first school systems in Maryland to pass this type of resolution.
It is still a bit unclear exactly what types of discussions or activities will happen during this week, but school board members told FOX 5 it will be up to the teachers’ discretion on what to implement and when – whether it is before, during or after school and if it does include instructional time.
“I think this is something that our students and our families see every day, especially being a largely minority population,” said board member Raaheela Ahmed. “We have 60 percent of our students that are African American, 30 percent that Latino and this is something that they see and hear every day –on the news and day-to-day lives. It’s something that we felt was really needed and necessary at this time.”
“I don’t believe it is political,” said Amanya Paige, the student member of the school board. “I believe it is a movement to encourage minorities and African American students to be proud of who they are and to embrace who they are because we live it every day. I think that it is important to understand our culture and understand where we are coming from in order to be productive citizens.”
The resolution that was unanimously passed reads in part:
“The thirteen guiding principles of the Black Lives Matter movement highlighted during this week of action are a means of challenging the insidious legacy of institutionalized racism and oppression that has plagued the United States since its founding.”