ROYAL OAK (WXYZ) — The Royal Oak Multicultural Parents Association (ROMPA) held a town hall Tuesday evening to discuss the challenges of of diversity and inclusion within the school district.
Parents of color presented three demands directed to the Royal Oak school board and administration, which focused on: Culturally competent curriculum; Discipline and academic achievement; and Hiring practices and staff diversity.
The virtual townhall was held over Zoom.
In an open letter to the Royal Oak Board of Education, ROMPA outlined its mission.
"ROMPA’s mission is to be a voice of equity, diversity, and inclusion for children of color," the letter states. "As a group, we work to educate, empower, and facilitate actions with our school district in order to nurture a school environment that allows all children to excel. We are dedicated to growing the culture of ROSD to be one that is actively inclusive and to be a safe place for multicultural families to gather and share their experiences."
The letter was prompted by recent unrest following the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Read an outline of the parents' demands and the full letter to the board of education here.
In a statement from Royal Oak Schools, the district affirms that it is "deeply committed to the ongoing work of ensuring a safe and nurturing learning environment for all students."
The district noted that in 2019, the Royal Oak Cultural Competence Engagement Committee, made up of parents in the district, staff, community members, as well as board members and administrators, has worked toward improving the district's cultural competence.
In response to the three detailed demands of ROMPA, the district states that it shares the same goals with examples of how that's been done, including having a district-wide, K-5 social justice team that leads initiatives for staff and organized diverse lesson plans.