LATEST UPDATES from the san Leandro Teachers association
An open letter to the San Leandro Community,
The Human Rights Committee of the San Leandro Teachers’ Association is dedicated to building a community in which people of all races, gender identities, religions and abilities are engaged participants of a thriving community. As educators in a beautifully diverse community, we recognize the value of all of our students and their families.
Today, as a result of the fatal shooting of Steven Taylor in San Leandro, CA, the San Leandro Teachers Association’s Human Rights Committee states emphatically that Black Lives Matter. Steven Taylor is a former student of San Leandro Schools, and a parent of a student in San Leandro Unified School District. We send our most heartfelt condolences to the family of Mr. Taylor, and reaffirm our commitment to building a community where this kind of senseless act does not happen.
In 2015 the California Teachers Association passed a resolution affirming its solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. That resolution recognizes the systemic injustice experienced by Black/African American people when interacting with police officers throughout the country.
As a result of this incident, the San Leandro Police Department must be held accountable for the action of its officers. The SLPD must engage in a deep and sincere process of review, discipline and re-training to ensure that officers do not resort to lethal measures when those measures are not absolutely required. SLPD must also look at its practices with regard to recruitment, hiring, training and supervision of officers.
In addition, as educators we are often at the frontline of crisis situations related to the mental health of our students. In those situations, we recognize that our most important role is to assure that no harm comes to the individual in crisis, bystanders and ourselves. We are required to employ de-escalation techniques to maintain the safety of everyone involved. As a result of the tragic death of a member of our community, Steven Taylor, we demand that the City of San Leandro commit itself to training police officers in crisis prevention and de-escalation.
With the tragic death of Steven Taylor, our community has an opportunity to highlight structural racism in all of our institutions, including schools, city government and the police. SLTA is committed to being a part of this important work.
With our commitment to a more just and peaceful world,
SLTA Human Rights and Social Justice Committee
Joya Brandon, Glenn Brodeur, Nancy James, Lydia Oey, Thomas Morse, Gene Romano