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Teachers call on school board to endorse Black Lives Matter Week

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — A group of activist teachers is bringing Black Lives Matter Week back to Philadelphia schools next month.  

Members of the Caucus of Working Educators, an activist teacher group, started the week two years ago around a week of lessons on racial justice.  

Teacher Ismael Jimenez told the school board last week that educators in cities across the nation will be taking part in the week beginning on Feb. 4. 

“This year, Black Lives Matter At School will be undertaken by over 30 cities, coast to coast, to the southern sections of the United States,” said Jimenez. 

Activists at last week’s school board meeting, including Keziah Ridgeway, called on the board to endorse the curriculum. 

“Our children should not be exposed to racial trauma in the very place that should be educating the future generation to end it. The national Black Lives Matter Week in schools is the answer,” Ridgeway said. 

Board president Joyce Wilkerson said in a statement, “We support and encourage our teachers to responsibly engage students around important issues to develop critical thinking skills and a respect for the exchange of ideas. While Black Lives Matter in  Action Week is not in the official curriculum of the District, we certainly support our teachers in this endeavor.”

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