On October 12, 2021, the Board of Education for Birmingham City Schools passed a resolution “to advance equity for all students” in the school district. The resolution confirmed the school district’s support for a “culturally responsive curriculum.” The term “culturally responsive curriculum” is often used to describe promoting the race and ethnicity of students as part of the lessons being taught in classrooms.
The resolution states that “many current inequities are sustained by historical legacies and structures and systems that repeat patterns of exclusion, and institutions and structures have continued to create and perpetuate inequities.” The resolution continues to state that “the city of Birmingham is not exempt from our country’s racist history that is still pervasive in today’s systems” and that it is important for the Board of Education to lead “in efforts to disrupt the patterns of racial inequality that permeate our systems.”
The resolution confirmed that the school district “will audit our policies and procedures, and craft a racial equity plan that will improve the outcomes and experiences for all of our students and families.” The resolution also confirmed that the school district “will provide resources and professional development for educators that teach about, celebrate, uphold, and affirm the lives of all races; and that support critical dialogue among students, staff, and community members about the impact of bias and racism in our schools, community, and nation.“
The Board of Education for Birmingham City Schools passed the resolution in response to a resolution passed by the Alabama State Board of Education. On August 12, 2021, the Alabama State Board of Education passed a resolution that affirmed Alabama’s Department of Education “will not support, or impart, any K-12 public education resources or standards intended to indoctrinate students in social or political ideologies that promote one race or sex above another.” On October 14, 2021, the Alabama State Board of Education voted to make the resolution permanent. The statewide resolution states:
The Alabama State Board of Education believes that no state education agency, local education agency, or school should train any administrator, teacher, staff member, or employee, or teach any student, to believe that one race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex; that members of one race or sex cannot, or should not attempt to, treat others disrespectfully due to race or sex; or that fault, blame, or bias should be assigned to a race or sex, or to members of a race or sex solely or partly because of their race or sex.