Petition for Racial Equity in Barrington 220 Schools
Be The Change Barrington (BTCB) is a coalition of alumni and current students who have aligned to focus on one goal: working towards racial equity in Barrington 220 schools. BTCB shares the frustrations expressed by groups throughout the nation in response to the recent police killings arising from the devastating explicit and systemic racism that pervades the United States. In response to the on-going fight for racial equity in this country, Barrington 220 has a responsibility to actively address the systemic racism that exists within its structure and educate their students from an early age on anti-racism in order to make our schools a better place for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) students.

BTCB conducted a survey among 634 Barrington 220 students and alumni starting on June 28, 2020, regarding their experiences and beliefs about race and racism in their K-12 education. An overwhelming majority of 78.3% of respondents agree that racism is an issue in Barrington schools, and only 7.4% of respondents believe that Barrington schools effectively address the issue of racial inequality. Additionally, only 19.1% of respondents indicated that they trust Barrington 220 staff to effectively address racial injustices.

We call upon Barrington 220 alumni, current students, parents, and Barrington citizens to read through the list below detailing BTCB’s 4 Calls to Action and 19 Recommendations that will be submitted to the Barrington 220 school district. We ask for your signature in order to show support for this initiative and to help us bring forth these issues to the School Board.

You can find our full report of the aforementioned survey and recommendations here: https://tinyurl.com/BTCB-RacialEquity . We discuss our findings, further research, and detailed recommendations for how Barrington 220 can begin to address the identified issues and implement change. These recommendations are by no means comprehensive, and BTCB acknowledges that anti-racist efforts must be ongoing and evolving. These recommendations aim to provide specific, actionable steps that Barrington 220 can and must take in order to commit to anti-racism and provide a safe and supportive school experience for BIPOC students.

CALLS TO ACTION
1. BTCB calls upon Barrington 220 to issue a widely accessible public statement for how they plan to better support BIPOC students, acknowledge this pivotal moment in history, and accept responsibility for Barrington’s past and current issues of racism.
2. BTCB calls upon Barrington 220 to critically examine and make changes to its staff training, curriculum requirements, and administrative policies in the pursuit of anti-racism and dismantling white supremacy.
3: BTCB calls upon Barrington 220 to allow itself to be held accountable by its students, parents, and staff through the creation of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) groups of those parties and through public updates on the implementation of DEI and anti-racism policy.
4: BTCB calls upon Barrington 220 to commit itself to implement structural changes, create programs, and make curriculum changes to foster diversity, equity, and inclusion.

STRUCTURAL RECOMMENDATIONS

Recommendation 1: Release a widely accessible public statement in support of BIPOC, (specifically Black students) that details a plan for racial equity, condemns recent events of police brutality, and acknowledges systemic racism.

Recommendation 2: Design and publicly release a transparent plan to promote anti-racism, diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Recommendation 3: Mandate anti-racism and unconscious bias training for educators and students.

Recommendation 4: Involve Barrington 220 community input in the hiring process of the new Director of Equity, Race, and Cultural Diversity position.

Recommendation 5: Assemble staff, parent, alumni, and student DEI groups.

Recommendation 6: Support and invest in diverse staff who are reflective and welcoming of all races, ethnicities, sexual orientations, and abilities.

Recommendation 7: Invest in counseling and affinity groups for BIPOC students.

Recommendation 8: Provide ongoing financial support to students with severe financial limitations who are participating in extracurriculars and/or high-rigor courses.

Recommendation 9: Provide learning materials about racism, privilege, and allyship to Barrington 220 families.

Recommendation 10: Implement restorative justice models and approaches to resolving conflict instead of traditional punitive disciplinary measures.

Recommendation 11: Create and commit to standardized meaningful consequences for racist conduct.

Recommendation 12: Implement a Race to Equity report to explore, measure, and analyze the extent and pattern of racial disparities in Barrington, Illinois.

Recommendation 13: Implement a regular culture and climate survey for staff and students.

CURRICULUM RECOMMENDATIONS

Recommendation 14: Adopt intersectional approaches in teaching the core and arts curriculums across all school levels to educate students about the impact of race, class, gender, and ability.

Recommendation 15: Continuously highlight the contributions of BIPOC and other underrepresented identities in all classrooms throughout the whole year.

Recommendation 16: Increase the number of individuals and events discussed during Black History Month and other cultural appreciation months.

Recommendation 17: Include the works of POC authors from diverse backgrounds into the curriculum at all school levels.

Recommendation 18: Schedule regular events that educate about and celebrate diversity while teaching students about anti-racism.

Recommendation 19: Dedicate in-school time for regular community-building events to foster a warmer and more inclusive school environment.

The Barrington Racial Progress Survey indicates a clear and specific need for Barrington 220 to urgently and earnestly commit to districtwide anti-racism initiatives. As a community and school district, we must do better to support our students of color, especially our Black and Latinx students. Barrington 220 claims it is committed to ensuring that all graduates will be able to demonstrate evidence of: “A respectful mind, that honors the differences among individuals and groups, and tries to understand them and work productively with them.” The Barrington Racial Progress survey indicates a significant lapse in fostering an environment where staff and students respect and honor the differences among individuals and groups, especially when it comes to racial and ethnic differences. Barrington 220 must put this philosophy into practice by focusing on districtwide anti-racism initiatives that instill values of inclusivity and respect for people of all races and ethnicities in their students and staff. BTCB calls upon Barrington 220 to carry out these 19 recommendations to shift the culture of race and racism across all schools in the district.
Please write your name (and graduating class if applicable) as you would like it to appear on the petition. E.g. First Last, Class of 2020 *
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If you have further interest in this initiative, please contact us @ BeTheChangeBarrington@gmail.com
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