During a regular board meeting on June 16, the District 209 school board unanimously passed a resolution on its commitment to Black students and Black lives. The board also announced that March 5, 2021 will be “a day to honor the life and memory of George Floyd and to celebrate Black lives,” according to a statement the district released on June 18.

“We don’t only want something that is on paper, but something that has action,” said outgoing D209 Supt. Jesse Rodriguez in the statement, adding that he and D209 Board President Rodney Alexander “talked about something that has substance because our students and families deserve more. This is the right thing to do.”

“The Board of Education is committed to continuing to address systemic racism and ensuring the academic achievement of Black Students,” Alexander stated. “We vigorously acknowledge and assert that Black lives matter.”

The resolution, which is available in English and Spanish, acknowledges a variety of candid historical truths, including “that general education research and practice have created a picture that overemphasizes the deficits of Black children, their families and community instead of celebrating them for the unique assets they bring with them into schools and providing them the opportunity to access more rigorous grade level classes and materials.”