KPS Launches Equity Task Force | WMUK

KPS Launches Equity Task Force

Apr 27, 2021

Credit WMUK

The Kalamazoo Public Schools have a new equity task force. The 16-member group will help the district find and eliminate discriminatory practices.

Kalamazoo Superintendent Rita Raichoudhuri says the panel reflects the community the district serves.

"These 16 members represent a balance of stakeholder groups and diverse identities, cultures, races, genders, religions, and a cross-section of age groups from their 20's to their 70's."

But Kalamazoo School Board Trustee Tandy Moore says the panel isn't representative enough.

"And I wonder why we aren't seeing any level of diversity in socio-economic circumstances on top of the fact that I'm not seeing, again, youth members."

Raichoudhuri says students will have their say as the task force develops its report.

Police Officers at Schools

A member of Kalamazoo's school board says he wonders if having police officers stationed at the district's High Schools need more training. Trustee Jermaine Jackson points to the recent trial in the murder of George Floyd by an officer in Minneapolis. Jackson says that and other police violence around the country might be a concern for some families.

"And all of this just occured any anxiety that students or parents or staff may have, and many do have, because of all of the things that are happening around us."

Jackson says he still supports having Kalamazoo Public Safety officers at Kalamazoo Central and Loy Norrix High schools. But he wonders if they have enough special training. Superintendent Rita Raichoudhuri says they do.

"The certifications that they hold, the vetting process that we utilize, and the evaluation process that they go through."

Last year, some parents wanted the "school resource officers" replaced with social workers after protests following the murder of George Floyd. But the school board decided to keep them.