On March 4, 2023, Presumpscot Elementary School in Maine posted a video of young students marching while chanting “Black Lives Matter.” The school explains that the country and world “will be a more just place” because of these students. The school states in the post:
There are many moments as an educator/leader when you are humbled by the students and staff you work with. Friday was one of those moments. I was waiting at the green light on the corner of Washington and Preusmpscot behind a car. We were waiting to turn left when most of our school held up traffic as they marched chanting Black Lives Matter. It was incredible.
The school’s district – Portland Public Schools – is known for pushing controversial political issues in its curriculum for students. Parents Defending Education previously reported how the district intends to implement racial equity into plans and the curriculum moving forward. The district also has a resolution titled “Resolution Supporting Equity in School Climate and Discipline and Ending the Use of School Resource Officers.”
The district states its support of “Black Lives Matter” in this resolution. The resolution attacks the idea of law enforcement officers in district schools by stating that “the Portland Board of Education directs the Superintendent not to renew the district’s Memorandum of Understanding with the Portland Police Department.” One reason given was that “Black Lives Matter Portland called for the removal of police from school budgets.”
The resolution also explains that “teachers, administrators, and staff are prohibited from calling the police to intervene unless a student’s behavior poses real and immediate risk of serious physical harm.” The superintendent also has the responsibility of considering the race of students when taking disciplinary measures in the future:
The Superintendent must implement an action plan to eliminate race-based disparities in the use of disciplinary referrals, in the severity of punishments, and in the impact of disciplinary action on students and must provide regular updates on discipline data to the Board of Education.