I ran across this article today and thought it worth giving attention too. My garden is still graced with a flag that say’s “Black Lives Matter”! Is this still true, I hear less and less daily? The individual creating the BSU discussed in this post is my son Chuck Murphree. Chuck has moved on to another school where his “talent” in special education is needed, yet he continues to support the BSU students. Chuck is a YA author on mental health his first book, “Everything That Makes Us Feel”, and he has a second book coming out this winter, and already working on the third. I am very proud of him and believe that his work with the BSU should be continued by the teachers at the school. You can find Chuck’s books at Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com and in most book stores throughout the United States and Europe.
This was an excellent article…
We don’t fight with weapons; we fight with our voices’: Students create first Black Student Union at Waunakee High School
By Channel 3000 – Jan 21, 2020, 0
By Jamie Perez for Channel3000.com
Black students at Waunakee High School are hoping to ignite change or at least start a conversation.
About 20 students have helped create the school’s first Black Student Union (BSU). It all started with the special education teacher Chuck Murphree’s leadership.
Chuck Murphree said he started asking black students how they would like to form a BSU on campus. In October, his idea came to fruition.
Murphree said at; first, the meetings mainly were “A lot of community building, and getting to know each other. It was the first time they were able to sit down with other black students in the school. So that was powerful.”
Murphree said he wanted to create a non-judgmental space where students could learn by relating to one another. But when people look at Murphree, some are surprised that he was the person to take the lead on creating the group.
“Being a white man, somebody who is very aware of his own privilege in society, being able to sit with these young black people. For them to trust me, to pull me into those conversations, to hear their ideas on how we can change the school. To bring the awareness on how this needs to happen,” he said. “The first thing I said to them is, ‘How do you feel about a white man advising the Black Student Union?’ The kids said to me, ‘Mr. Murphree, who else is going to do it?’ It was as simple as that. It was the right thing to do, and the kids needed it.”
Murphree sits in on all the meetings, saying that he has already learned so much. He said other teachers are now expressing interest in coming to the sessions too.
“The district curriculum director recently contacted me about coming in and talking to the students about our curriculum and changing that so students of color can start seeing themselves in the curriculum,” Murphree said.
BSU members said the group’s point is to educate others, and they welcome people to just come to listen. “I just want first and foremost to educate and show younger students the representation of black people in power, black people making changes,” said a BSU member.
It is rare for two black students to be in the same classes together at Waunakee High School. The school doesn’t have any culture-based courses, so there isn’t much opportunity to learn about different people.
Having a BSU gives them that opportunity and provides black students a space to all sit in a room together for the first time.
The struggles black students face are often not understood by many of the other students at school who don’t relate to those same thoughts or feelings, like Martin Luther King Jr., to motivate the group can make a positive change without resorting to anger and violence.
“The things that we do daily are things that they could never even dream of,” that progress has already been made. But taking it a step further to dream even farther, and I don’t think they would want us to meet the goal and stop there.”
Murphree said he lets the students lead the conversations at BSU meetings and is happy to provide them a safe space to talk about matters.
“I’m really proud of these kids for what they’re doing, and I’m thankful for the administration too because they’re allowing us to keep moving forward with this,” Murphree said.
The BSU has already made a significant change in the school district. Murphree said because of the students’ desire to educate and change the curriculum to be more inclusive of black culture and black history, this will be the first year Waunakee High School will teach students about Black History Month.
My books are as follows…
Authors Books at Amazon.com and Barns&Nobel.com