‘There seems to be a disconnect’

Lacey’s Equity team grills school officials on equity efforts


Civil rights advocate and Lacey Equity Commissioner Thelma Jackson raised concerns that there seemed to be a discrepancy between the equity efforts laid out by North Thurston Public Schools  (NTPS) officials and the continued concerns raised by some students in the city.

“There seems to be, at least visibly, some kind of disconnect going on,” said Jackson.

Jackson made the remark during the Commission on Equity meeting on Tuesday, February 27, where officials of some local education institutions were invited to discuss the ongoing equity efforts of their respective schools.

“With all these activities and all this kind of effort, why then now in 2023 that the city is being confronted with questions like ‘what can you do to help us with these issues our kids are having in the schools.’”

Students attending previous meetings have raised concerns about safety, racism and mental health, alleging that schools have done nothing to address the problems.

As a defense, NTPS Equity and Languages Director Antonio Sandifer said some of the constituents recognize the “bad things” and disregard the school board’s efforts in providing a safe space for the students.

“When they don't see action in whatever manner, they believe that nothing is happening,” explained Sandifer, adding that the school board has been addressing the issues that have been raised to them.

“These things have been happening for years; it’s just that people don't give us any credit,” Sandifier said.

Jackson said she believes that there are two sides to every story and that her 20 years of experience in serving on the school board tells her that there are a lot of improvements in the conversations going around equity.

She also mentioned that she is willing to give the students a talk about Black History, but no one from the school board has invited her yet, especially during Black History Month in February.

“When we are confronted with questions, we, either as a commission or as individuals, we need information to be able to help share what's going on,” explained Jackson.

In the same meeting, Sandifer discussed the equity efforts of NTPS, which include student well-being-centered instructions, inclusive book selections, programs for multilingual learners, ethnic studies and partnership with communities.


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  • Southsoundguy


    Thursday, March 2 Report this

  • username73737737

    We don't want equality teaching in schools. LGBT, Race specific supremacy or CRT, etc should not be taught in schools.

    Thursday, March 2 Report this

  • ejpoleii

    Define "equity" and "equality". How are they different? Which, if either, means equal outcome?

    Tuesday, March 7 Report this