Although Wilbanks sent a letter to the community earlier this month in response to protests about the deaths of Ahmed Aubrey and George Floyd, the letter to casts doubt on the district commitment to diversity.
“However, many constituents have questions and concerns about what specific action plans exist to realize equitable education, especially for our Black students,” the letter states. “Just telling us that you’re ‘already committed to focusing on the issues’ is not now, nor has ever been enough.”
The group seeks a July 10 meeting with board members and the administration, but the letter was dated June 18 as if it will be presented at this week’s meeting.
“We look forward to hearing from this group at the Board meeting,” Wilbanks said. “I look forward to sharing some of the work underway in our district and to working with them to address their concerns.”
Christa Campbell, a rising senior at Collins Hill High School, said she’s glad that the community is seeking action.
“As a white person, I’ve never experienced discrimination based on the color of my skin, but I’m proud to grow up in a community where there’s so many people who more accurately represent how the world really is,” she said.
She’s a member of the Gwinnett Student Leaders Team and will be meeting with her principal this month about discussions at school on implicit thoughts.
“Some people probably don’t know what they’re feeling or why they feel that way,” she said.
Penny Poole, president of the Gwinnett branch of the NAACP, cautions those in power not to dismiss what’s happening now as a flash in the pan.
“These demands on the petition are nothing new. I’ve been seeking transparency for years from Gwinnett County Public Schools,” she said. “But these young people feel robbed. They don’t know the history, they don’t know about Juneteenth. They don’t even know about slavery. They are demanding the education they’ve been denied.”