Heidi May Wilson, Senior Manager, Media Relations
ALEXANDRIA, Va., (July 27, 2020)—As National PTA stands firmly against racism in all forms and the culture of oppression that permeates the United States, the association’s Board of Directors recently adopted a position statement on addressing institutional racism. The statement reaffirms National PTA’s commitment to listen, educate and advocate beyond rhetoric and rise to correct all inequities and injustices.
“As an association that represents all children and families, it is our duty to disrupt the systems that propagate institutional racism,” said Leslie Boggs, president of National PTA. “Our efforts will be intentional, purposeful and relentless until every person enjoys the freedoms guaranteed to all Americans.”
As outlined in the position statement, National PTA will hold courageous conversations with its membership and communities to understand the impact of institutional racism and how it affects the well-being of children of color. These conversations will include racism, social justice, equitable education, juvenile justice, affordable housing, food sustainability, economic wealth and affordable health care for families of color.
National PTA and its constituent associations will also educate themselves and their communities on the disparities among students of color compared to their white peers related to issues such as housing, healthcare, environmental and community planning, criminal justice and employment. This knowledge is essential to understand the impact of institutional racism on school performance, which is manifested in attendance, discipline, academic achievement and graduation rates of students of color.
As also included in the position statement, National PTA and its constituent associations will advocate at all levels to eradicate the negative impact of institutional racism. National PTA will also work to ensure more comprehensive guidelines and training are required on the use of force by school resource officers, other law enforcement officers and security personnel.
National PTA strongly urges federal, state and local public officials to invest in educating students and teachers on the history and impact of institutional racism. Professional development and training must be provided for all school staff on implicit bias and culturally appropriate curriculum. School staff should also be provided professional development in mental health, trauma-informed care and restorative justice to provide a safe, inclusive environment for all students.
National PTA also urges federal and state policymakers, school district leaders, school administrators and educators to review bias in curriculum, policies, practices and programs to identify and address those that perpetuate inequities toward children or communities of color, resulting in Black and Brown students experiencing lower school achievement rates.
“We can eliminate racism and social injustices when we unite as a community, regardless of skin color, race, language or culture,” said Anna King, National PTA president-elect. “PTA reaffirms our commitment to advocate for all children—including and specifically for Black and Brown children—to eliminate the negative impacts of institutional racism and ensure they have every opportunity to reach their full potential.”
In addition to the position statement on addressing institutional racism, the National PTA Board of Directors also adopted position statements in June on Harmful Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Change Efforts, Career and Technical Education, Improving School Meal Programs and Furniture Tip-Over Prevention.
About National PTA
National PTA® comprises millions of families, students, teachers, administrators, and business and community leaders devoted to the educational success of children and the promotion of family engagement in schools. PTA is a registered 501(c) (3) nonprofit association that prides itself on being a powerful voice for all children, a relevant resource for families and communities, and a strong advocate for public education. Membership in PTA is open to anyone who wants to be involved and make a difference for the education, health and welfare of children and youth. For more information, visit PTA.org.