Dear Caring Adults,

Back to School can bring forth a number of mixed emotions for caregivers, educators and students alike. Some of us may be relieved about getting back into having a structured routine while others may be terrified by it.  Many of our Lovely Learners may be excited about reconnecting with their classmates while others may be anxious about this. In addition to these typical scenarios that almost always come along with the back-to-school season, there are some other things to consider for children who are Black.

There are instances where race can intersect with poverty. When this is a reality, it often becomes something that works against Black children. Studies show that educational professionals over report suspected abuse and neglect based on assumptions and stereotypical views about race. (Kojo Institute, 2021).

With the above in mind, please ensure that we are all aware of this aspect whether we are educators, caregivers, parents or friends of Black children.

“If anti- Black racism is not directly confronted with an equity-focused lens, back-to-school and back to ‘normal’ could mean back to the status quo of over- reporting Black children and families to child welfare/protection”. – Kojo Institute

The only solution to this is to ensure that we are all doing our part to contribute to creating inclusive, equitable and safe spaces for us all to exist in.

As an educator; it is important to do your best to get to know your students. At times, some of what you may think is a cause for concern could very well be culturally based or a simple misunderstanding. Creating comfortable atmospheres to be able to garner solid relationships with students may assist with being able to confidently differentiate between true conflict, situations that may be caused due to poverty and/or cultural difference.

Parents, guardians and caregivers can also contribute to the success of Black children who may fall into the above categories by having open conversations with your children at home about being respectful to their peers and refraining from activities that could cause harm such as extensive teasing and singling their classmates out.

It truly takes a village and to be able to ensure that all children feel safe, welcomed and confident about attending school, let’s all join in and be the change that is much needed for success, we all benefit!

Happy back-to-school to you all!

Until next time,

Be Love, Be Light!

~ Ms. Love