The New England League of Middle Schools’ Statement
Regarding Social Injustice and Racism
We at the New England League of Middle Schools, as educational leaders, stand with our colleagues at the Association for Middle Level Education, the National Association of Secondary Schools Principals, as well as countless other educational organizations across our country in the fight against social injustice and racism.
The deep-seated pain of the recent deaths of Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd have led to national protests even as others ensure we must also say the names of Breonna Taylor and Tony McDade. We, as educators and as human beings, are charged at multiple levels to respond, not only by openly and clearly condemning acts of racism and hate but also by answering the call in our schools to care for and support our students as they grapple with these events and our nation's history and take their own place at our sides in the ongoing work to build a better world.
Much of this work must be internal. Anti-racist work is impossible without putting in the time to read, listen, learn, and build the knowledge and awareness needed to do better. Multiple lists of resources have been shared, including the foundational text Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain by Zaretta Hammond.
But listening, learning, and growing are insufficient without action. We, as educators and human beings who have not already done so, must also commit and hold ourselves accountable to take clear concrete action, keeping in mind:
the four essential attributes of effective middle schools: developmentally appropriate, challenging, empowering, and equitable
the different identities of our students (race, ethnicity, gender, sex, sexual and romantic orientation, socio-economic class, abledness, etc.) and how these intersect in different ways in a society built on both privilege and marginalization and power and oppression
the need to provide trauma-informed education when doing anti-racist and anti-oppressive work
The New England League of Middle Schools is passionate in its commitment to ensure and confirm everyone’s right to social justice and to work to end racism We stand ready to provide resources to and support middle-level educators throughout New England.
The NELMS Board of Directors and Staff