July 21, 2022

 

The conversation triggered by Commissioner Hsu’s racist statement is taking us backwards to the toxic divisions that we experienced a year ago. The statement showed a lack of understanding of our communities in San Francisco. Racial and ethnic groups are again being pitted against each other. This needs to stop now for the health and wellbeing of our children and youth. The position of Board of Education Commissioner carries an outsized amount of power in our District. Politicized statements based in racial and ethnic stereotypes do harm and have no place in positions of leadership. Our leaders must work to unify communities in support of children, not promote damaging and racist stereotypes. Our public figures need to be leaders who unite communities, not divide them.

 

I echo the demands of the African American Parent Advisory Council, of which I am a member, for Commissioner Hsu to resign. I also echo the AAPAC demands for our current Board to:

  • Take swift and immediate action to publicly and officially acknowledge and condemn anti-Black and Brown rhetoric.
  • Immediately engage in continuous Implicit Bias training, conducted by a vetted source.  Attendance at these trainings must be mandatory.

 

Now, it’s time to start the process of healing. I encourage our current Board to convene a meeting with Black and Brown SFUSD families through parent advisory councils and the community based organizations that support them. In the spirit of growth, restoration, and reconciliation, we owe it to our families to hear what they have to say - not just now, but especially now.

 

We should all use this experience as an opportunity to reflect and learn. All of us here in San Francisco have a very teachable moment to examine our own biases. San Franciscans believe in equity, diversity, and inclusion. I know, because I see this in communities every day. I see Black, Indigenous, Pacific Islander, Latinx, Asian, and White parents working together to build a stronger and better school system for our children. We are all united in the desire for the best possible outcomes for our children. We all want our children to have greater wealth and happiness with each generation that follows.

 

As I have learned in my time as a member of the Joint Advisory Committees, we can do so much more when we work together! As a District, we need to do a better job of bringing our community, especially our families, together. We need to:

  • Reinvest in Restorative Practices
  • Mandate Implicit Bias training for all employees, CBOs on school property, and SSC members
  • Elevate parent voices in our most underserved and marginalized communities

 

As Dr. King said, “the time is always right to do right.”

-Alida Fisher

 

AAPAC's statement can also be found on their FaceBook page.