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OKCPS Board of Education Adopted Resolution on George Perry Floyd Protests

Whereas, tragically, On May 25, 2020, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, George Perry Floyd, a Black man, died unjustifiably at the hands of four Minneapolis police officers, while they knelt on his neck and back for approximately eight minutes and forty-six seconds, while Mr. Floyd lay face down repeating the words “I can’t breathe; and,   

Whereas, people of all racial backgrounds in cities all across this Nation, including Oklahoma City, OK, have exercised their fundamental rights to free speech, expression, and assembly to peacefully protest, march, and rally, in order to focus on seeking justice for the families of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and others that have died unjustifiably, and to take advantage of this opportunity to direct unified energy and attention toward making long-term improvements to race relations in the this City, State, and our Nation; and,

Whereas, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a true voice and advocate for racial justice around the world, stated “An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity” and “An injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”.  These words ring true today as demonstrated across this country by young people of all ages, who seek to release the bands of racial injustice in our legal system, schools, and communities; and,

Whereas, Black Lives Matter, and should matter to all people just as much as any other life.  The voices of Black and Brown people who have endured marginalized opportunities and who continue to suffer from racial injustice and unlawful actions of law enforcement officers seek to be heard for the goal of American racial solidarity.          

Therefore, be it resolved, Oklahoma City Public Schools (OKCPS) and its Board of Education extends its deepest condolences for George Floyd, his family, friends, and community, and to all the lives lost to racial injustice; and to the thousands of people seeking to improve race relations in America; and,

Be it further resolved, OKCPS and its Board of Education must condemn racism in any form and, must also believe that the long term, systemic solution to the problem of implicit bias, institutional racism, structural racism, and bigotry can and should be addressed by the public school systems in this country, through intentional acts, to provide equal opportunities for all children to have a high-quality education; and,

Be it further resolved, OKCPS and its Board of Education must uphold its commitment to our equity policy and to the work that must be done to root out practices stemming from implicit bias, prejudice, and discrimination, by implementing our educational equity framework, continuing our work with the Student Experience and Equity Committee, and providing training to every district employee to recognize and correct implicit and explicit bias.

Dated this 8th day of June 2020.

Drafted by Charles Henry, District 1 Board Member with support from Ruth Veales, District 5 Board Member