We thank our community for the letters, emails, messages, and advice we have received following the tragic killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis and the subsequent demonstrations by hundreds of thousands of people globally in support of racial equality and social justice. We applaud the courage and conviction of our students and alumni who have spoken out, shared past experiences, and compelled us to continue to improve inclusion at TASIS England. We understand the anger and frustration, we are sorry to hear of the past experiences, we pledge to play our part to do better in support of Black Lives Matter, and we welcome constructive discussions moving forward. Not only can we further develop inclusion for all in our School, TASIS England can also play its part in shaping the future of a better world.
Education is a powerful vehicle for change in the face of injustice, racism, and any form of discrimination. It provides an opportunity to challenge unfairness and suffering and create a future generation of compassionate, open-minded, and principled citizens who can help lead us to a better future. We can unequivocally state that the TASIS England Board, Senior Leadership, faculty and staff, students, parents, and our extended community stands against racism in any form. Our students and our community have challenged us to demonstrate our stand against racism, our stand for unity, and our commitment to togetherness. We are proud of our TASIS students for their advocacy and desire to promote change with respect, strength, and understanding. We are open to dialogue with any member of our community who wishes to talk to us about these issues.
We are listening.
Our students must feel safe, they must know they matter, they must know we care, and they must know that we are dedicated to supporting them. We commit to this work and we ask all of our community for their support as we journey together over the coming weeks, months, and years to ensure a better future and the full realization of our Mission, Commitments, and Outcomes. While we host a very diverse student body, we know that there is always more work to do to challenge and disrupt racism, uncover implicit bias, and support each and every child and family in our community through our curriculum, co-curricular program, pastoral care programs, policies, and professional development.
It is time for action.
We have already formed a “Working Together” group involving alumni and members of the administration, faculty, and staff with the goal to create an action plan to move us forward. The first Working Together meeting took place on Friday, June 12, and identified three keys areas in which progress is needed, as follows:
a. Ensure that we better communicate our actions and responses to reported incidents of racism or any form of discrimination;
b. Continue to promote the use of our online Student Voice Page, created in May 2019, to provide a confidential anonymous forum for our students;
c. Review our Behavior Policies to ensure we provide clear guidelines for our students and community on our expectations and zero tolerance towards racism and discrimination;
d. Expand our counseling services to ensure we provide day and evening support for all of our students and a confidential space for reporting to occur;
e. Promote our demonstrable commitment to equality, diversity, and inclusion rather than rely on images of BAME students and employees in our marketing; and
f. Listen and communicate openly and transparently with all members of our community in a responsive and supportive way.
a. Review our curriculum, inclusive of subject areas, Personal Social Health and Economic Education (PSHEE), and Spiritual Moral Social and Cultural Development (SMSC), to develop opportunities that will promote challenge and discourse related to concepts of injustice, racism, and other forms of discrimination;
b. Source and utilize professional development opportunities for our faculty and staff, and raise awareness of racism and promote anti-racism through invited speakers for our students and the entire community; and
c. Extend our celebration of diversity beyond the International Festival to focus on our outcome of international-mindedness throughout our curriculum, and further explore the concepts of intercultural understanding and inclusion.
a. Create opportunities and forums for current and past students, faculty, staff, and community members to share their stories, and to join us as we continue to promote unity and create the space for student voice and advocacy to flourish;
b. Ensure that students have advocates and role models from diverse backgrounds within our faculty and staff to promote respect, trust, and appreciation of each member’s valuable contribution to our community;
c. Continue to seek to expand the diversity of our community through staff, faculty, and student recruitment; and
d. Ensure that financial aid and scholarship opportunities further encourage greater student diversity.
While there are immediate steps being taken, some of these actions will require sustained time, resources, and commitment. We look forward to working with our student leadership, faculty, staff, alumni, and Board as we implement our action plan. We welcome views from students, alumni, parents, former parents, faculty, and staff. If you have any points you wish us to consider please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are certain that we will learn more throughout this journey and we will continue to share this learning with you all.
We thank our entire community for their continued support, collaboration, advocacy, and understanding as we fulfill our Mission and continue to promote a safe, inclusive, and united school community.
Head of School