APEA Calls For District Action On Gender and Racial Equity


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Source: Amherst Pelham Education Association

The Amherst-Pelham Education Association (APEA) issued a statement on April 21, 2023 in which they affirm every student’s right to a safe, supportive and LGBTQIA+ inclusive PreK-12 educational experience. They also affirmed their belief that racial equity should be at the foundation of education. 

In their statement, they explain that “extremely harmful and dangerous attacks on public education and marginalized youth are occurring in many states and school districts in the United States, including legal attacks on curricula involving critical race theory and African American history and the histories of other marginalized racial groups, the criminalization of gender-affirming healthcare services for transgender youth, and the banning of drag performances (i.e. criminalization of gender non-conforming presentation).” The APEA, they stated, “stands in vehement opposition to these attacks and urges the Amherst Regional Public Schools (ARPS) to do the same.”

In addition to making a commitment to these principles, the APEA called on the ARPS Superintendent to intervene in cases when community members or staff disrespect or fail to value anyone because of their gender or racial identity. The APEA offered to collaborate on trainings with the district around these issues.

Importantly, the APEA made clear that, “in alignment with DESE [Department of Elementary and Secondary Education], we believe in creating a strengthened, safe and supportive learning environment that keeps the health and well-being of students, staff, and families front and center. The APEA will support individuals who identify as LGBTQIA+, place racial equity at the center of our educational practices, goals and institutions and interrupt racism.”

The full statement can be found on the website https://apea.massteacher.org/  For more information contact: executiveboard@amherstpelhamed.org and coccoc73@gmail.com (Claire Cocco, Communications Chair for APEA)

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