We are in a unique moment as a society. We are reflecting on the many ways our institutions have, in the past and present, favored those with power —traditionally white men.
I applaud Congressman David Trone for sponsoring legislation to remove a memorial of Roger Taney (author of the Dred Scott decision) from the Capitol. I am encouraged by Councilman Kai Hagen’s announcement of upcoming racial equality and social justice legislation. And I am in full support of the resolution authored by Alderman Derek Shackelford to declare racism a public health crisis.
Similar antiracism policy is also needed in Frederick County Public Schools. We must reflect on the ways that our school system, like many throughout the country, favors the white experience. Teachers of color are underrepresented in Frederick County classrooms. Students of color are underrepresented in the AP and (International Baccalaureate) advanced classes. Black students are suspended from FCPS schools at disproportionate rates.
FCPS alumni are calling for changes to be made. An antiracism petition written by two 2016 graduates has generated thousands of signatures and hundreds of testimonials. I am proud to have signed the petition. I stand with my neighbors in calling for more Black voices in the curriculum, more teachers of color in the classroom and an independent third-party review of our hiring practices. It is time to systematically address racial inequities in our schools.
David Bass is a candidate for the Frederick County Board of Education