Over the summer, Seton has been reflecting very seriously on our Call to Action: Black Lives Matter. As a first step, Seton created a task force to assist us with the examination of our students’ lived experiences and to help us with engaging in courageous conversations with our community. The work of the task force will give us a vision for needed change, for greater equity, and for community empowerment.
The Task Force will be inviting rising 10th, 11th, and 12th grade students to complete an online survey to help them with their work.
As the task force continues its work, the administration has established several immediate action strategies:
1. The school president will engage in a personal plan of study.
2. Bias Training will begin with those who have the most responsibility for discipline, and continue for all staff.
3. An entire examination of the curriculums for Religion, English, Social Studies, and the Arts will be conducted to identify areas of “unconscious deselect”. The examination will be done at first by the departments and then sent to a third party for review. Teachers in these disciplines will be given the opportunity to complete coursework in African American History. In the interim, more seminars, study groups, and discussions will be offered to students relative to Black history, sociology and literature. The details of these additions are still being planned as we select the instructional mode for next year. We will keep you informed.
4. Interracial conflict among students will be addressed with the help of our alumnae.
5. Seton Staff will collaborate with students in establishing structures that allow their voices to enter Seton’s governance and in creating safe spaces for Black students to voice their concerns.
The commitment of the Seton Board of Directors and the administration is rooted in the context of the very lives of our students. We find ourselves haunted by the words of a student who said, “Every day, I look into the mirror and see my black face and realize that I have to prove myself.” Seton must work with others in developing ways to supplant this ideology. As our work continues, we will be engaging in more discussions with parents, students, and alumnae. The work we have to do is formidable and challenging, but it is compelling and crucial when you listen to the voices or our young women.