We, the undersigned community organizations, parents, educators, and labor leaders demand 100% safety in order to reopen Little Rock schools. Our students, our community, and our educators deserve an educational environment that does not sacrifice the safety and lives of all those involved for the expediency of reopening the economy. We are not willing to risk the lives of our children, their families, and the educators who serve them in order to line the pockets of Wall Street.

 

Covid-19 has disproportionately affected and killed black and brown people at a rate much higher than white Americans; a rush to open schools this fall means that the lives of people of color will be the cost of jump-starting our economy- that is categorically unacceptable. Our children deserve safe schools, that means not only safety from the possible infection of Covid-19, but safety from the violence of poverty and systemic racism that infects our community.  

 

The cost of reopening our schools with 100% safety is nothing compared to the value of our children's lives. As a reminder, the banks have received over $14 trillion dollars since the start of the pandemic-- If we as a society can afford to give away $14 trillion dollars to big banks, then we can surely afford to provide a safe environment for the children of Little Rock and of Arkansas. Our children's lives are priceless and no cost should be prohibitive in ensuring their safety.

 

The only way to ensure these demands is for an immediate return to local control for LRSD. In addition, we demand direct community, parent, and educator ownership of the process to reopen our schools. We deserve to be at the table in all discussions and decisions involving our lives. Our demands are attached.

 

  • Little Rock Education Association

  • Grassroots Arkansas

  • National Association of Social Workers-AR

  • Central AR- Democratic Socialists of Arkansas

  • Our Community Our Schools

  • Arkansans for World Class Education 

  • Arkansas Community Organizations 

  • Arkansas Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival 

  • Barry Block

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