February 11, 2021
Dear WMS Community,
We are proud that we are putting up a Black Lives Matter flag in our school. It will hang in the same spirit as our Pride flag, which for decades has long been a statement of welcome and an affirmation of our values.
This is not to say that only Black Lives Matter; it says that Black Lives Matter also, in addition to all other lives in our community. Black lives have been targeted recently and throughout U.S. history. Black lives have not mattered in the court of law or court of public opinion. This is not encouraging students or families to vote for a certain candidate or endorse any particular organization. Rather, this flag is a statement in support of human dignity, respect, and justice.
As a district committed to making school a more equitable and inclusive place for all, we know from conversations that Black students and staff have not always felt like they matter at Wellesley Middle School. They have shared that the curriculum, discipline policies, and at times, peers, teachers and colleagues have made them feel like Wellesley was not as welcoming as it should be, and they did not always feel valued.
With the history of systemic racism against Black Americans, it is important to affirm that Black Lives Matter here; it is not enough to be merely living and surviving. We want our Black students, staff, and community members to thrive: knowing that their learning, growing, and belonging matter at WMS.
This is an opportunity for us to more clearly articulate and affirm our core values as a District: Academic Excellence, Commitment to Community, Respect for Human Differences, and Cooperative & Caring Relationships. In addition, Wellesley expects its graduates to challenge inequities. The first step to this is recognizing them where they exist. This flag is a symbol of that commitment and an acknowledgement of progress to be made.
This statement is overdue. It is not an end in itself, but another beginning in the work towards a more equitable school and community.
WMS Leadership Team / WMS Faculty Senate / WMS PTO / WMS School Council /
WPS METCO / WMS Diversity, Equity, Action Committee /
WMS Students Talking About Race Skillfully (STARS)
Submitted: Feb 11, 2021