Today, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) released a set of principles for states and localities to adopt to ensure racially equitable and inclusive school re-openings as the nation continues to struggle with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
To date, cities and states have taken differing approaches to closures, testing, mask-wearing requirements, and quarantines. Therefore, any plans to re-open schools must consider the particular dangers to children and school personnel, especially in regions where infection rates are high. Indeed, schools should only hold in-person instruction if the virus is under control in the local community. This is not the case in most of the country. Therefore, it is imperative that all students, teachers, and schools are equipped for remote instruction. This is a racial justice imperative, given the disproportionate risk to Black children and families of severe complications and death from COVID-19.
Moreover, because of the vast inequities inherent in our educational system, any plans to re-open schools must also give due regard to existing racial and socioeconomic disparities in school districts. Plans must ensure that under-resourced school districts are provided with the tools and funding needed to meet the challenges of educating our children safely in school, and to providing quality, meaningful, and effective online instruction.
LDF’s principles include:
For more details on these protocols, please read the full descriptions here.
Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization. LDF has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute (TMI) is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or LDF.