For community members planning to attend the MMUUSD Board meeting tonight, here is a link to the agenda, which also includes the Google meeting link to attend. Connie
Stefani and I have been engaged in an email conversation with Check Lacy, a MMUUSD Board Member and Finance Committee Member. My impression is that Board Members are paying attention to and learning from local and broader information related to School Resource Officers.
I let him know that I would be sharing our recent conversation, as Stephani has done in the past. Here is the most recent message, which I think will help those who go to the MMUUSD Budget meeting tonight, December 14, 2020:
Sent: Monday, December 14, 2020 1:25 AM
Cc: Chuck Lacy <firstname.lastname@example.org>; Stefani Hartsfield <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: MMUUUSD Finance Committee conversation about School Resource Officer (SRO) budgeted expense for next year
“I now understand we need a job description and required qualifications for any SRO work. This is a more specialized role than I had imagined. I started with the assumption that this is simply a cop in the school. I was wrong. Students sometimes face issues I could not have imagined – custody issues with the potential of violence, children dealing with violent homes, and the like. I’ve learned the current SRO is available to BRMS. A teacher there described the comfort of having a known SRO on the scene during a school lockdown with a parent raging over a custody dispute and scaring everyone to the bone. A specialized SRO on the team with social work, administration, nursing, etc is a conceivable benefit to me. If the school nurse uncovers an abuse situation requiring intervention – an SRO who is a known trusted colleague could be helpful, ideally someone with relevant training. But I’m still learning.
“If there is an SRO, the job description and qualifications and maybe an annual report should be public and explained to everybody in the building. I’d be interested in how a job redesign could mitigate the negative impact on some children of having an officer in the school. Everybody should certainly know why there is a cop in the school and what they are doing. We don’t have that now and that might address some particle of the problem.
“I want to get the issue out of the finance committee and into the board as a whole. I don’t think the finance committee members see this as a budget question (it isn’t) and the entire board should be involved (they aren’t). If there is ever a problem which could be attributed to either having or not having an SRO, the board should have accepted the responsibility for the decision and the outcome.
“In the main, I hope people don’t view this as a local metaphor for the national debate. This is our own circumstance.
“I work in an out of state city that has cops relevant to the national debate. I know what that looks like.
“Everything here is my opinion only. I’m not speaking for the board. chuck”
We’re sharing a link to another site’s information, but it’s useful information, so humor us.
The Richmond Free Library maintains a list of fiction and non-fiction books, audiobooks, and DVDs on Black history and topics.
Click here or click the image below to go to the RFL website.
Several SRO contracts are up at the end of this school year and so it is a hot topic regarding budget planning.
Here are the links for local meetings this week.
RRE is also hosting a meeting Tuesday night, 6:30pm to discuss action for the MMUSD meeting. Zoom link in calendar.
Zoom meeting info
Center of Vermont, Rights and Democracy, Vermont Branches of the NAACP, Vermont
Businesses for Social Responsibility, Vermont Center for Independent Living, Vermonters for
Criminal Justice Reform, Vermont Human Rights Commission, Vermont Legal Aid, Vermont
Public Interest Research Group, and the Women’s Justice and Freedom Initiative. I wrote out all
of those names because it’s amazing to me that so many Vermonters (ie. school boards) seem
to be ignoring such a unified voice from the communities and identities who are most impacted
by this issue.
We saw the following article in the Huffington Post today and thought it was worthy of sharing. Click through to the link to read the article in its entirety, but in a nutshell: “The Trump administration is moving ahead with a federal rule that would freeze pay for many agricultural guest workers for the next two years, even as they remain essential personnel during a pandemic.”
Here’s the recording of the October 22nd Event!
Many thanks to MMCTV for the production.
We’ve received an urgent call for monetary support for a Vermonter of Color. Here’s an excerpt from a letter from Kesha Ram and Kiah Morris to support Tabitha Moore which was shared with our community via Burlington SURJ:
“Tabitha Moore, founding chapter President of the Rutland County NAACP and and State Director of the Vermont NAACP, needs your help. She and her three children, including her oldest who worked bravely to raise the Black Lives Matter flag at Mill River High School, have been targeted with threats, violent language, and racialized attacks. Recently, Tabitha’s neighbor physically assaulted her while simultaneously calling the police on Tabitha, and her children live in constant fear of someone targeting their home.
Sadly, Tabitha and her family are no longer safe in their home, and Tabitha needs to move to find safety, opportunity, and well-being for her and her children. We need her in Vermont, and that means helping her buy a home in another community and making the transition as smooth as possible during a pandemic and the start of the school year. Please dig deep and give directly to Tabitha via Venmo (@Tabitha-Moore22) or PayPal (paypal.me/tabithamoore22 or firstname.lastname@example.org) to help her with moving and closing costs.
We are trying to raise $60,000 to allow Tabitha and her family the peace of mind they need to keep moving Vermont and the country toward justice. Please help and spread the word.”
Please give directly to Tabitha and her family via Paypal or Venmo, so that they may live safely in Vermont, and can continue to do their incredible work.
Thank you, everyone, who came to our “Life as a Vermont Migrant Worker” session on Thursday night. We think it’s safe to say that anyone who attended left impressed and moved by the stories the presenters shared.
For those of you who were not able to attend, the session was recorded and we will be posting a link to the recording in the near future so you too can enjoy it.
Our group, the Richmond Racial Equity group, has full meetings on Tuesdays the weeks that the Richmond Selectboard does not have a Monday meeting, and has more informal meetings on the other Tuesdays. Our next meeting will be Tuesday, October 27 at 7 pm. All are welcome to attend!
Richmond Town Host is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Panelist discussion tonight! –Hosted by Richmond Racial Equity
Please have a piece of paper and pen handy.
You can use this document as a reference to help with the discussion: Sample Notesheet
See you there!
Thursday October 22, 2020 – 7pm
Here in Richmond: Life as a Migrant Worker
Meet the migrant workers who work on our farms.
Hear their voices.
Listen to their stories.
Learn their hardships.
Richmond Racial Equity invites you to an evening of shared stories and gaining new perspectives on the lives of the people who grow our food and milk our cows.
Here in our community.
The artwork is shared thanks to the permissions and efforts of
Vermont Folklife Center’s Comics Workshop:
If you’d like to contribute to the publishing of their Vermont experiences, please visit: