by Ramone Johnson
My name is Ramone Johnson and I’m 17 years old. I’m from Illinois originally, and ever since I’ve been to school out here in Washington, any situation in school has been blasted way out of proportion. I want to share my experience to help students and teachers understand each other and learn to value every student and make schools a better environment for everyone.
I started recognizing I was being treated differently as one of the only Black kids in my Seattle middle school. The school administration and security guards came as hard as they possibly could towards me. If I called out the way they were treating me differently than other students, they would call me disruptive and send me out of the classroom. It’s like they wanted to prove a point when I refused to adapt to their environment. I watched them give some students extra time to finish assignments, and they wouldn’t do the same for me. What made him better than me? We were both students that needed help. Instead, they’d treat me like a terrorist. They’d have the cop and school security guard following me around all day and blame me for things I didn’t do.
Continue reading OPINION: What Teachers Should Know About the Experience of Being a Black Student in Seattle Public Schools
by Vivian Hua 華婷婷
Two years ago, amid shifting trends towards standardized, “one-size-fits-all” approaches to testing and curriculum development, parents, students, and staff at Orca K-8 School brainstormed and launched a program called South End Stories. A dynamic and multi-faceted experience, South End Stories (SES) works within Seattle Public Schools to create safe spaces for students to share their own stories through film, dance, writing and performance.
Continue reading South End Stories Helps Youth of Color Build Storytelling Skills
by Ben Adlin
It’s no news to Seattle parents and caretakers that educating kids has become even more of a challenge since the city closed school campuses in March. Many have been asked without warning to take on the roles of teacher and childcare worker while still having to travel to essential jobs, find new employment or adapt to working from home.
A newly expanded partnership between Seattle Public Schools and the Seattle Public Library hopes to ease the transition by offering families free access to a suite of online resources. With just their school identification number, all K-12 students can now log in to the library’s digital databases and electronic media.
Continue reading No library card? No problem. Every Seattle Public School Student Now Has Access
by Marcus Harden
(This article first appeared on Rise up For Students and has been reprinted with permission.)
“As long as there are those that remember what was, there will always be those that are unable to accept what can be. They will resist.”
—Thanos, Avengers Endgame
I hate social distancing. There, I said it.
I believe in the power of language — I rarely use the word hate — and I fully understand why social distancing is necessary. I honor and respect the sacrifices workers are making that allow me to sit on my Ikea couch and write a blog post about hating it and the privilege that comes along with it.
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way … every day, my heart and spirit mourns the loss of not only what was, but like so many others around me, I grieve for the lost feeling of certainty of what will be.
Continue reading OPINION: As We Mourn the Loss of “Normal,” the Time has Come to Envision a Bold New Future for Our Schools
by Susan Fried
Signs reading “There is no Planet B” and “Our Future is Being Sacrificed” dotted a crowd of youth who sat on the grass at Cal Anderson Park on a beautiful Friday morning in Seattle. Hundreds of young people from dozens of Seattle schools showed up at Cal Anderson Park to show solidarity with the millions of youth walking out of their classrooms across the globe to let their governments and older people know that it’s time to take climate change seriously.
Continue reading Seattle Youth Gather at Cal Anderson To Protest Government Inaction on Climate Change
by Susan Fried
The Rainier Beach High School students arriving for the first day of school Wednesday morning didn’t know what to make of the small crowd of people — with a few small children — gathered near the school entrance by the Paul Robeson Performing Arts Center. But once the students passed by the group, the received high fives and a crowd of people saying, “Welcome back, and have a wonderful day.”
Continue reading Rainier Beach Students Start School with High Fives and Encouragement