ORR district moves towards creation of anti-racism committee

Sep 3, 2020

MATTAPOISETT — Over the last several months, the Old Rochester Regional School District has been taking steps to becoming a more anti-racist school district. 

At a Sept. 2 Marion School Committee meeting, Superintendent Michael Nelson told of plans to take that initiative further by creating a district-wide anti-racism committee.

Nelson said that over the past few months the district has talked with many school stakeholders and local community groups to continue the work to becoming an actively anti-racist school district. 

“I think the work that’s started needs to be continued,” Marion School Committee Chair Michelle Smith said.

The board would consist of one school committee member from each of the district’s committees.

In Marion, members approved the creation of the committee and appointed Mary Beauregard as its representative.

The approval for the anti-racism committee must go before the other school committee before it begins to meet. 

“It’s much needed work,” Mary Beauregard said.

Nelson also asked the committee for the approval of an anti-racism resolution that “guarantees that racist practices are eradicated” from schools through formal trainings, a commitment to diverse hiring, looking at school curriculums and examining institutional and systematically racist policies. 

The anti-racism resolution will be a commitment held by the district to be anti-racist, not specific policy changes.

“Change needs to happen and I’m glad we’re taking the steps,” Smith said.

The resolution must have approval from all other district school committees before its adoption.