New Poll: Parents call for Dramatic Action to Address Racism in Schools

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[National Parents Union]
Keri Rodrigues: “We believe education systems must be transformed to eradicate generational institutions of oppression...racism that is an act of violence against our children not just in criminal justice."
Photo: YouTube

A new poll shows parents are worried about racism and inequality in schools and want less police in schools.

More than half of all parents (54%) say schools should rely less on school police officers and move toward providing social emotional supports to address student needs with staff like counselors, psychologists, and social workers in disciplinary situations, according to a new poll released today by the National Parents Union.

Just 35% of parents say schools should continue to rely on school police officers in the way they do now in disciplinary situations.

HOW TO IMPROVE RACIAL EQUALITY IN SCHOOLS

Parents also overwhelmingly say that requiring implicit racial bias training for teachers will be effective at improving racial equality in public schools. In determining the effectiveness of a variety of ways to address systemic racism and discrimination, parents said the following will be very/somewhat effective:

  • Requiring training for school administrators, teachers, and staff on cultural awareness and implicit racial bias (73%)
  • Providing trauma-informed school guidance and counselors (72%)
  • Introducing culturally-inclusive curriculum in all public schools (70%)
  • Increasing racial and ethnic diversity of school boards, administrators, teachers, and staff (65%) Replacing suspensions and expulsions for behavioral issues with alternative disciplinary programs that keep students in school (65%)

PARENTS OF COLOR ARE WORRIED

  • 63% of parents of color say they worry a lot or some about their children being impacted by racist comments or actions by other students.
  • 55% of parents of color say they worry a lot or some about their children being impacted by discriminatory or unjust police actions at school. Nearly the same amount (52%) worry about this happening in the community to their children.
  • Nearly half (49%) worry about their children being impacted by racist comments or actions by staff at school.

“The National Parents Union was created with the core belief that there should be liberation, justice, and equity in education for all children,” said Keri Rodrigues, Founder and President of the National Parents Union. “We believe education systems must be transformed to eradicate generational institutions of oppression. Families across the nation have taken to the streets crying out for an end to systemic racism -- racism that is an act of violence against our children not just in criminal justice, but in education as well. The school to prison pipeline begins in the classroom. It ends with us.”

June 8-11, 2020 Survey of N=500 parents of public school students in grades kindergarten through 12th grade- Sampled from online web panel.

ABOUT NATIONAL PARENTS UNION

The National Parents Union is a network of parent organizations and grassroots activists across the country committed to improving the quality of life for children and families in the United States. NPU unites these organizations behind a common set of principles that put children and families at the center of the national education narrative. With delegates representing each of the 50 states, NPU disrupts the traditional role of parent voice in policy spaces and develops a new narrative that is inclusive of families from a wide variety of intersectional perspectives.

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