Fairport superintendent allowing teachers to wear BLM shirts: ‘It’s not political, it’s support’

Local News

FAIRPORT, N.Y. (WROC) — The Fairport school superintendent is standing behind his teachers and students of color in their desire to express support for the Black Lives Matter movement. Superintendent Brett Provenzano said this isn’t political- it’s an act of love.

Provenzano said a few weeks ago, some parents expressed concern that teachers were promoting political movements by wearing Black Lives Matter gear to school. He said at the time, the district reminded teachers they can’t use the classroom to push political agendas. This is still true, but not regarding BLM.

“Over the past several weeks we’ve continued to talk to staff and community members and even students and no one is even looking at it from a political standpoint it’s about caring for and supporting our students. It’s something we’ve always done in our district, this is not new,” Provenzano said.

Provenzano released a statement Wednesday expressing this. Megan Sperber’s daughter is in fifth grade at Fairport. She said some of the pushback on BLM shirts being worn in class was from parents in law enforcement. Sperber said she’s happy with the district’s decision.

“I think making a firm commitment, sticking to it, not being swayed by what I imagine is a smaller number of voices speaking against anti-racism curriculum and Black Lives Matter,” Sperber said. “Its important to remember that skin color is not a choice whereas being a law enforcement officer is a career choice.”

Fairport parent Tiffany Porter is also the leader of Being Black in the Burbs and the Fairport Coalition for Justice and Equity. She said anti-racist curriculum is an important next step.

“I’m very happy that they came back out and said that this is allowed. I think its important that the black students in these schools know that the teachers and staff do care about their black lives.”

Fairport will be part of the United Way Race and Equity Challenge, which begins Friday. The superintendent said this is one way to act on their support of black and brown students.

The district also said it plans to continue its plans to fighter racism by developing a culturally responsive curriculum, hiring for greater diversity,- and providing professional development for staff.

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