Democratic school board nominees release resolution condemning racism

Dr. Vickie Benson, Julia Hurtado, Leroy Tre Hutchins, Lindsay TerrebonneDemocratic candidates for school board (clockwise from upper left): Dr. Vickie Benson, Julia Hurtado, Leroy Tre Hutchins, Lindsay Terrebonne

The Democratic nominees for the Cobb County Board of Education released the following resolution condemning systemic racism:

Resolution Condemning Systemic Racism and Affirming a Commitment to Educational Equity for All Students, Families and Staff

September 30, 2020, COBB COUNTY DEMOCRATIC NOMINEES FOR COBB SCHOOL BOARD OF EDUCATION, LEROY TRE’ HUTCHINS of Mableton, Georgia, LINDSAY TERREBONNE of Powder Springs, Georgia, DR. VICKIE BENSON of Acworth, Georgia and JULIA HURTADO of Marietta, Georgia, collectively release the following Resolution Condemning Systemic Racism and Affirming a Commitment to Educational Equity for All Students, Families and Staff.

The Cobb County School District Board of Education, after several months of deliberation, were unable to successfully pass a Resolution to Condemn Racism. Their inability to create a consensus around such an important and timely issue within our community speaks volume to the ineptness and dysfunction within this current Board of Education. We can’t just move on; business as usual. Therefore, as your next Board of Education members, we commit the following;

Resolution Condemning Systemic Racism and Affirming a Commitment to Educational Equity for All Students, Families and Staff

WHEREAS, the Democratic candidates for the Cobb County School Board are saddened and outraged by the recent death of George Floyd, a Black, fellow American; and by the preceding and unjust deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and many others;


WHEREAS, we recognize that national protests demanding justice for George Floyd and Breonna Taylor have highlighted the systemic racism and injustice that have long persisted in our country, state and county;

WHEREAS, we condemn racism and hate in our schools and our society, and must work to protect the Constitutional rights and inherent dignity of every person who lives, works and learns in our community;

WHEREAS, we cannot be silent. We must urgently act to stop the racial injustices and structural inequities that harm and anguish Black and Brown people, who are our family, friends, neighbors, students, staff members and fellow Americans;

WHEREAS, we must listen. We must engage in critical self-reflection as we listen to those who have endured centuries of discrimination and intolerance, and who deserve to be heard as they share the truth of their stories, experiences and feelings; and we must seek with great empathy to understand their challenges and their pain;

WHEREAS, we must learn. It is time to engage our community in meaningful and honest conversations about racial injustice, to build alliances with those committed to justice for all, and to work together to support our shared conviction that racism must end;

WHEREAS, we must lead. Each of us, individually and collectively, is responsible for creating and nurturing an anti-racist learning environment where every child is respected and valued for who they are, regardless of their skin color. We must actively acknowledge, address and prevent the racial bias that occurs as a result of divisive school policies, practices and actions; and

WHEREAS, we must do better. We reaffirm that Black Lives Matter and recognize the urgent need to ensure that equity is at the center of everything we do as a school district. Guided by our Strategic Plan, we will work to change the culture within Cobb County Schools to inspire students and address barriers to learning.

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that we, candidates of the Cobb County School Board, stand steadfast in our commitment to foster an inclusive educational environment where every student, teacher, support professional, parent and community member is treated with dignity and respect, and we reaffirm our commitment to continue fighting for racial justice and human rights for all.

“I am excited to have the opportunity to work with such a smart, caring and thoughtful group of women who are just as passionate about our children’s education as I am. This is the type of responsive leadership that will ensure we continue to have great schools, with excellent culture and climate for ALL children, for many years to come!” ~Leroy Tre Hutchins

“Our community has asked our school district to unite against systemic racism, but ourcurrent leaders have not been able to agree on how to write the statement, let alone how to reduce the harm our schools feel from these circumstances. We know that our fellow stakeholders deserve better. We/re committed to ensuring that our students feel safe and our employees feel supported so that students of every racial and cultural identity can focus on learning”. ~Julia Hurtado

“Through the course of this campaign, I’ve heard the despair and disappointment from Cobb families as they refer to the Board (BOE) being unable to pass a resolution against racism. Our community has been repeatedly traumatized by the videos and details of lives lost, revealing systemic inequities. As schools are a microcosm of our society, our families need to know that their school district is actively creating a safe learning environment for all kids. Students must feel safe before they can learn”. ~Lindsay Terrebonne

“We must continue to build a multicultural community through education diversity and cultural acceptance that will empower our students’ learning for the 21st Century. Ultimately there must be a paradigm shift in the school district where we are celebrating diversity and committing to equity initiatives”. ~Dr. Vickie Benson

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2 Comments on "Democratic school board nominees release resolution condemning racism"

  1. The above noted joint Resolution was printed in both the South Cobb and Marietta Patch newspapers this last week (now in AJC as well this publication) – My reply has been printed in all versions of the Patch papers and request is made to include herein as well – none of the candidates have yet to respond
    Most respectfully the above resolutions raise serious questions as to the requisite qualifications for leadership on the Board, more as to the
    deficiencies thereof. Elevating criminals, rapists and the like as acclaimed role models for racial injustice lacks supporting facts in law
    and just common sense. This country has well grounded systems for due process and equal protection of the laws for all. Protest and rampant
    violence accomplishes nothing and should be condemned in the loudest terms, rather than prejudging and disallowing our systems of justice. As for so called systemic racial injustice it would seem reasonable if such exists at all for these candidates to present and demonstrate with
    independently verifiable objective facts and proofs that such exists (in fact virtually all data and statistics are to the complete contrary). If critical self reflection is sought it is highly suggested that such start with each candidate themselves. Lets be very clear, all intelligent, patriotic
    Americans support justice and equality under the law, no special favoritism based on race, creed, or color (by definition that would be racism which any “black” or any other color of skin denotes)The very words “black lives matter” is by definition racist.

    If building bridges for communication is actually sought instead of the bellowing mindless claims then all are invited to examine in depth for a change in education based throughout upon the following principles – ethically grounded objective independently verifiable facts coupled with reasoned thinking (every single word a term of art) (wholesale deficiencies noted in the above resolution and in fact already existing within the Cobb and Georgia educational systems)/

    Its really very simple – where every single subject matter disciple taught at all educational levels is based on “character counts/ethical values” as well achieving buy in by all stakeholders (administration, teachers, parents, students, etc.) racism in any and forms can not possibly exist – its called respect, honesty, caring, empathy and compassion, responsibility and accountability, citizenship, and moral courage.

    Those are the only mediums and bridges proven to unite and bring effective communication, cooperation, and positive outcomes for everyone. By definition playing the race card to gain favor or get elected is a glaring sign and indicator of a lack of qualifications in the first place. The only color in America is “red, white and blue”. Race and creed – we all “Americans” – no special privileges, no superiority or inferiority or advantages sought for either. God Bless America

    And have a blessed day

    Woodrow D. Wollesen /Marietta, GA (Cobb County)
    Chairman, American Empowerment dba Operation Veteran Empowerment, a veteran created/operated 501(c)(3) non profit dedicated entirely to non partisan educational platforms that empower for the betterment of all Americans, especially veteran, women minority owned small businesses nationwide – one the nation’s foremost experts/authorities respecting small business operations/capital/financing/entrepreneurship/ ethically grounded reasoned thinking – serial entrepreneur/businessman – military veteran – former SBA Financing Champion – former Executive Officer Officer/Board of Directors/Instructor, National Women’s Business Center, Washington, DC , former national law firm partner/litigator/appellate counsel before the highest courts/tribunals in the country including the US Supreme Court. Professional Profiles at https://www.linkedin.com/in/woodrow-wollesen-65214711/; http://www.americanempowerment.org/about-the-author/

  2. Racism and hatred in ALL forms runs along a two-way street. The most powerful lobby tend to be the winner – often with violence.

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