Testimony of Dana Carter to the BOE, July 23, 2020

My name is Dana Carter and I’m a member of the Racial Justice Organizing Committee and Parents Organized for a Better School District of Philadelphia. 

Let’s uplift the voices of the black students at central, Masterman, and the Black Philly Student’s Alliance. Their energy was tangible during our Educator’s March. These young leaders are products of the School District of Philadelphia. Please listen to them.

Ladies, Gentlemen, Members of the Board and Dr. Hite,

153 speakers is a clear indication that something is broken. But in my 19 years in education, I have never seen such a unified response from the community. As exhausted as we are we should also be very proud that we all are here fighting for children. 

I’m sure many teachers will probably be inspired to go into administration after that OUTSTANDING speech given by the president of CASA.

At this time, I ask the school district of Philadelphia to consider revising School District of Philadelphia’s Code of Ethics, Policy 300  to include students’ interactions with each other,  employee interactions with each other and teacher-student interaction… Ethical guidelines, not legal guidelines, ETHICAL GUIDELINES.

Please consider instituting a mandatory Ethics training for all students and staff members as a part of their onboarding process and have mandatory lessons for students throughout the school year. 

The Racial justice Organizing Committee as well as the The Committee to Rename Philadelphia Streets and Schools is asking the board to consider amending section A of School Renaming Policy 712 by allowing Elijah Cummings and John Lewis’s names to both be considered for our first phase of school renaming.

On behalf of the Racial Justice Organizing Committee and all those people who sweated with us and marched with us from city hall to 440 in 95 degree weather, please accept all 10 of our demands. 

It is my pleasure to introduce a recipient of the Lindback award for 2020, my fellow member of Racial Justice Organizing Committee, and OUTSTANDING educator from Northeast High School Keziah Ridgeway who will give you all a real life example as to why our presence as Black Educators is so necessary.