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'Black Lives Matter At School' rally to demand changes in Seattle schools

Members of the NAACP Youth Coalition and local leaders will meet with Seattle Public Schools Wednesday night to share a list of demands they want the district to implement to improve minority kids' experience in public schools.

SEATTLE — As part of a nationwide Black Lives Matter At School day of action, students and leaders from the local NAACP Youth Coalition will be meeting with Seattle Public Schools to discuss ways to improve minority kids’ experiences in the public school system.

Students will be testifying at the district’s school board meeting Wednesday night.

The group’s demands include wanting the district to add more black history and ethnic studies to the classroom, hire more black teachers, provide more funding for counselors and not police, and finally eliminate the zero-tolerance punishment and instead replace it with restorative justice.

Sebrena Burr is part of the group that will be rallying at the meeting Wednesday night. She says it is important for the board to hear about students’ experiences from the students themselves.

Burr said the district has been understanding in previous meetings but Wednesday’s meeting is a reminder for them there is still much more to do.

When reached for comment, Seattle Public Schools provided the following statement:

“Student perspective should center and drive the work of Seattle Public Schools. The district supports the NAACP Youth Coalition’s advocacy agenda. The changes the students are advocating for are all areas we are actively working. While we have much further to go, the district in partnership with Seattle Education Association, teachers, and other partners have made progress specifically in ethnic studies and implementing new strategies to diversify our workforce. The district’s draft strategic plan is focused on supporting students of color, those students who are furthest from educational justice. A laser focus on goals like those that the NAACP Youth Coalition have shared will make a difference, help close opportunity gaps, and ensure that every student in Seattle thrives.”

The rally and subsequent testimony will happen at the John Stanford Center for Educational Excellence located on 3rd Avenue South in SODO at 5:30 p.m.

For more information on the NAACP Youth Coalition and how you can get involved, visit their Facebook page.

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