CHAMPAIGN, Ill (WCIA)- Champaign schools can now display a personalized Unit 4 black lives matter sign. The district’s C-U black teachers alliance rallied after a teacher was told to take down her “black lives matter” sign outside of Westview elementary. After receiving some complaints, The board then decided to allow the specialized sign. School board president Amy Armstrong said they want to start bridging the education gap between black students. “Teachers didn’t understand why we had to take the sign down, they kept pointing back to and correctly so that the board worked toward a resolution that we passed last June declaring racism a public health crisis. We have been looking at the numbers, data that show our students, specifically our black students, are not achieving.”, said Armstrong.
A resolution was released back in June, saying the district wants to reduce the effects of systemic racism and cultural representation within schools. NAACP president Minnie Pearson believes this change starts with teachers. “You need to be able to get rid of or diminish systemic racism in the minds of these people who are teaching our children you cannot just keep doing the same thing.”, said Pearson. Pearson also feels that Champaign schools need to reallocate resources, like putting their most vital teachers and resources into the communities that lack higher academic achievements. Displaying a black lives matter sign will be up to the teachers, but if they chose to, it must be the Champaign schools black lives matter sign.