Statement on Racism and the Need to Strengthen School-Family-Community Partnerships

by the Staff of the Center for Health and Health Care in Schools

Our Center condemns racism in all its forms. Too many people struggle with unrelenting trauma caused by racism, discrimination, and violence directed at individuals of color. Our grief and anxiety about these injustices are exacerbated by the detrimental and disproportionate impact the pandemic has had on the nation’s school children through its disruption of learning and the undermining of health and well-being.

The stress and adversity experienced by large segments of our population further compounds both health and education outcomes. Our school communities have been, and continue to be, a safe haven for millions of students, with school health providers and programs an essential component of that safety net. But education systems have also historically played a role in heightening the neglect and harm aimed at students of color. Now is the time to renew our collective commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion by taking bold and innovative actions to strengthen school-family-community partnerships.

Our school systems must work in meaningful collaboration with families, policymakers, community leaders, and other stakeholders, to actively dismantle the structures and policies that perpetuate the educational and health inequities plaguing our most vulnerable students. With a focus on cultivating safe and restorative environments; supporting workforce development to illuminate implicit bias and eliminate discriminatory behavior; ensuring equitable access to funding, services and supports; enacting and enforcing policies that promote equity and social justice; and prioritizing the health and well-being of all members of the school community, we will begin to right the wrongs that too many children, youth, and families endure.

The Center for Health and Health Care in Schools stands firmly with those similarly committed to combatting institutional and systemic racism, and who tirelessly champion a society where every child has an equal opportunity to learn, grow and thrive.

We offer the following resources to help you make space for the difficult conversations and intergenerational dialogues that we believe will accelerate trust-building and healing.

Resources

The Impact of Racism on Child and Adolescent Health from the American Academy of Pediatrics

A Framework for Race-Related Trauma in the Public Education System and Implications on Health for Black Youth from the Journal of School Health

Addressing Race and Trauma in the Classroom from The National Child Traumatic Stress Network

Black Minds Matter from Teaching Tolerance

Talking About Race from the National Museum of African American History and Culture

Racism and Violence: How to Help Kids Handle the News from Child Mind Institute

How to Be an Antiracist Educator from ASCD

Anti-Bias Tools and Strategies from the Anti-Defamation League

Black Lives Matter at School—Resources from the National Education Association

Toolkits and Resources from the Black Emotional and Mental Health Collective

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