The West Orange Cove Consolidated Independent School District issued the following statement today to support the Black Lives Matter movement:
In light of the current social unrest in our country, and recognizing that we serve a diverse community, the West Orange Cove CISD Board of Trustees and superintendent, with much thought and deliberation, would like to state our position. As champions for all children, we stand firm that ‘Black Lives Matter.”
Our mission is to transform lives through an exceptional educational experience. Our mission calls us to support, educate, and ensure a positive representation for all WOCCISD students. As a district, we will respond to this crisis of social injustice as we responded to the crisis of Hurricane Harvey, Tropical Storm Imelda, and COVID-19. Our response, then and now, will be to provide support to any of our staff or students that need emotional, mental, and physical health that this crisis may bring.
Additionally, our response calls for us to educate our students and ensure that our students are aware of their complete history. Our Board of Trustees approved the offering of an African American studies as a course at West Orange-Stark High School beginning this fall 2020. Without a proper understanding of the past, it is difficult to understand the present and the future.
To that end, we are compelled to ensure that our students are always represented positively. Many refer to our football’s team defensive unit as the “Chain Gang.” Due to the negative historical root of the phrase, we will no longer refer to our defensive unit as the “Chain Gang.” From this moment forward, we will be the “Blue Link” defense. We desire to exhibit appropriate leadership and to guide our students on the path of political and social awareness by demonstrating sensitivity while maintaining a safe and productive educational environment.