MASON, Mich. — Mason's The Equity Taskforce and Lansing's branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) announced Tuesday they are partnering to ensure Black voices in Greater Lansing are heard. More specifically, they are advocating for a full repeal of a Mason Public School Board policy.
The school board's "Policy 2240 - Controversial Issues" states, "The Board will permit the introduction and proper educational use of controversial issues provided that their use in the instructional program is related to the instructional goals of the course of study and level of maturity of the students and does not tend to indoctrinate or persuade students to a particular point of view."
In a joint press release, the partnership wrote that this policy, "allows members of Mason School Administration and Board of Education to use their personal bias to restrict and reprimand teachers for proposing or teaching living history, human rights, social justice, and anti-racism," and "forbids the autonomy of teachers to facilitate critical thinking and information literacy."
The task force was founded by Rhiannon Klein and former special education teacher Katelyne Thomas. Thomas resigned from the Mason School District earlier this year after school officials denied her request to teach her students about the Black Lives Matter movement.
This announcement comes after Thomas said their Black Lives Matter flag was stolen from their decorated light pole downtown. The group did not file a police report.
“The partnership between The Equity Taskforce and NAACP Lansing will support the ongoing efforts of The Equity Taskforce, in advocating for equitable policies, practices and curriculum opportunities in Mason Public Schools and the broader community,” Rhiannon Klein said in the joint press release.
“The Equity Taskforce is thankful to have the partnership of the NAACP Lansing in continuing the work of equitability and inclusivity here in Mason,” Katelyne Thomas said in a joint press release. “Mason Public Schools must make changes in order to do better for all of the students, teachers, and families they serve."
“A shared goal is to see a change in school district policy 2240 Controversial Issues, which prevents a free flow of information on topics and issues which confront everyone in our community, especially students,” President of the NAACP Lansing Dale Copedge said.
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