Eagan High School has adopted “nine anti-racism goals” in order to address an education system “created to support whiteness,” according to an email recently sent to parents.
“This summer we heard from students, parents and guardians via listening sessions and through the feedback form, social media, and email. We looked more critically at our data surrounding students, learning and achievement,” said an email sent to parents Wednesday, a copy of which was obtained by Alpha News.
“We held weekly faculty and staff discussions around reading ‘White Fragility’ and a variety of other articles, podcasts, and videos. Thank you to everyone who participated or reached out,” the email continued.
According to the email, the school has made modifications to its in-school suspension policy so that it is “more restorative for students,” and plans to hire a full-time “student support specialist” to work specifically with students of color.
The school also intends to host a “monthly community anti-racism listening session,” the email noted.
The email was drafted by the “Principals’ Team and Antiracism Reform Committee faculty,” who recently published a list of “nine anti-racism goals” on the school’s website.
“As a predominantly white school, with a predominantly white faculty and staff, in a system created to support whiteness, we need to address the needs and concerns and respond to our students of color and their families,” states a webpage on “anti-racism at Eagan High School.”
“Eagan High School will become an anti-racist school where our curriculum, relationships, culture, and policy work to dismantle racism in our school and empower students to dismantle racism after they leave our school,” states an “anti-racist vision.”
The high school’s list of anti-racist goals includes increasing the “number of BIPOC faculty and staff,” “ongoing and persistent” equity training for employees, and education that creates “awareness of racist language and behavior” among students.
“EHS will work with the District 196 curriculum leaders and our departments at Eagan HS in the process of auditing our curriculum for racist content and methods in every department,” states another goal.
The list of goals also promises to “improve systems, structures, communications, and cultural expectations around access and enrollment in our honors and advanced classes for BIPOC and other underrepresented students.”
“It means that we must be prepared to admit that Eagan High School creates, institutionalizes, and perpetuates racial inequities, whether they are academic, social, cultural, co-curricular, or otherwise. It means that we must acknowledge that students of color have been and continue to be marginalized in our classrooms and hallways, our stairwells, our gyms, our athletic fields, our administrative offices, and our grounds,” states the website.
“It means, ultimately, that we are ready to admit our failures, regardless of intention, and to begin the hard but necessary work of fixing them,” it continues. “It means that we, as a school, must interrogate our culture, curriculum, and policies to identify and dismantle racist policies.”
Public schools across the state are instituting similar practices in response to the death of George Floyd earlier this year. One superintendent, for instance, told her teachers and staff to look for new jobs if they are “indifferent to racial equity and anti-racist work.”
Hopkins Public Schools Superintendent Rhoda Mhiripiri-Reed welcomed teachers back to school by urging them to examine their “whiteness” and declaring that a “system of racism pervades every aspect of daily existence.”