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CPS Student Group Presents Demands To School Board

george floyd protest cincinnati
Jason Whitman
Two Black men raise their hands as they listen to an organizer speak during a Black Lives Matter rally and march calling for racial justice following the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, Saturday, June 28, 2020, in Cincinnati.

Cincinnati Public Schools students from the group Speak Up and Speak Out presented a list of demands to the school board Monday night.

The group was started in the wake of the death of George Floyd. Floyd was killed last summer by a Minneapolis police officer who kneeled on his neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds.

The group allows for Black students to share their experiences surrounding racial injustice and inequities. One of the demands the group is making is for CPS to build a better relationship between students and the Cincinnati Police Department. Rachel Scales is a senior at Riverview East.

"Most of our CPS schools have resource officers in them and most of the kids don't know their school resource officer, and when they do see them, it's because it's a bad reason, a bad purpose," Scales said.

Scales says they want to break down the stereotypes that all police officers and Black children are bad.

Another demand is to teach Black history across the district year-round.

"We would like for curriculum to be changed because we feel like we're only taught Black history when it's convenient, which is only in February," Scales said. "We feel like we're only given 28 days to know about years of history."

The demand also calls for all staff to undergo "cultural competency training" to be able to properly teach the courses.

Here's the full list of demands:

  1. We demand that every high school develop a dedicated peer group to discuss the issues faced by their Black students in their respective school.
  2. We demand the district create a platform for all voices to be heard through a student-led public rally.
  3. We demand that Black history is embedded in the curriculum throughout the school year, not just in February.
  4. We demand that CPS actively support students who want to become more civically engaged.
  5. We demand that CPS facilitate a stronger relationship and better understanding between students and the [Cincinnati] Police Department.
Cory Sharber attended Murray State University majoring in journalism and political science and comes to Cincinnati Public Radio from NPR Member station WKMS.