Teachable Moments

I have grave concerns that the JCPS internal investigations department lacks the ability to police itself, much less the district. 

Dr. Pollio,

I am sending this email to you first, just as I did the screenshot of the “Teachable Moment” of a racist, threatening text message that I sent to Ms. Renn on 8/7/20, which included the name and school of the teacher who sent the message, as well as the white Maupin teacher who received it. I wanted to give you every opportunity to correct the oversight before the public fixes their gaze on JCPS and the racial inequities that continue to be ignored.

I and others have tried everything we can think of to encourage you to work with us on authentically addressing these systemic discrimination issues, but instead it seems like you have chosen to ignore our urgent pleas and keep kicking these problems down the road in the hopes we (and the problems) will go away. If that is truly the case, then I feel obligated to provide you with one final warning. Consider it a lifeline. 

Otherwise, you can expect to see an allied community mobilize, not only to denounce the tax increase, but to call for your resignation. That would be unfortunate, but after spending time speaking with those who have been in the trenches with the likes of Anne Braden, Lewis Coleman, and many others like them STILL in the trenches with us, such as Gracie Lewis, Maddie Jones, Nancy D’Matra, and Barbara Boyd, it’s definitely something I could see happening.

Victims have amassed example after example of evidence that parents and educators who raise concerns are threatened or punished behind the scenes. More evidence shows that when investigated, nothing is done to the abuser, which not only sends a message that this behavior is okay, but puts the whistleblower in grave danger of repeated targeting, bullying, threats, and more. This pattern only allows the racism, gaslighting, abusive, toxic disease to flourish.

It has become clear to us that we can no longer leave this up to your leadership to address. Unless you work with leaders from the Coalition for the People’s Agenda, you can expect a call for a vote of no confidence in your leadership in the near future.

It’s time for some swift, intentional, dramatic changes, not only to the student assignment plan, but to a myriad of intertwined pieces. And Dr. Pollio, you are in the perfect position to make urgent, abolitionist, morally just moves right now. 

The question is, will you? Please be on the lookout for a list of demands from the Coalition for the People’s Agenda. If you are interested in having a shot at the tax increase passing, I encourage you to take us up on coalition leaders’ urgent offer that was emailed to you on 8/7/20.

Thank you,