SEA’s Board of Education Statement – 6/11/2020

SEA’s Board of Education Statement – 6/11/2020


Lori Mobley, SEA President, speaking on behalf of my SEA Executive Board, and SEEO President Kathy Jesuit. Maybe some of you saw the statement that was released last week by the SEA. SEEO President Kathy Jesuit sent a similar message to her members. I would like to highlight some parts of these letters:


  • We echoed and affirmed the words of NEA Today:  “Black lives matter, black youth matter, black culture matters.”

  • As educators, it is imperative we prepare ourselves for the conversations we will have with our students, knowing they are the future of our society and this is their present reality.  We need to use teachable moments to constructively and productively address race.

  • As IEA members, we are fortunate to be a part of an organization that works towards racial and social justice everyday.  IEA is challenging us to look inside and be introspective.

This year SEA worked with Region 35 and SEEO to form a Cultural Competency Committee – we were in the early stages of this committee when the COVID-19 pandemic struck.  Members of the committee are currently engaged in reading the book “Race Talk” (by Derald Wing Sue) in order to educate ourselves and to engage in talks around race and cultural competency in our own lives.  We see the urgency to have these discussions with our members, as they will be called to have age-appropriate anti-racist conversations with their students due to recent events.  We know that students look to their teachers and other educators as counselors, as caring adults, as someone who listens when bringing forth difficult topics.


The Schaumburg Education Association, as well as the Schaumburg Educational Employees Organization, are committing to the following:

  • Use our privilege to amplify the voices of our educators and students of color.

  • Act on NEA’s call to examine how white supremacy culture impacts our biases, our practices, and the policies in our own schools and communities.

  • Recognize and call out the subtle effects of racial bias in everyday interactions and environments.

  • Expand the discussions and training on cultural competency in our local unions.

  • Provide our members the resources and discourse necessary to have age-appropriate anti-racist conversations with our students.

  • Continue discussions with other stakeholders in the District 54 Promise to center this work on our mission to educate the whole child.


Thank you to Superintendent DuRoss for the letter that was sent out to our District 54 staff this week with the work he is committing to in regards to social and racial justice. I appreciated him reaching out to SEEO President Kathy Jesuit and me to have more conversations around these topics. We want to work together with you, the Board of Education and the District 54 Cabinet, as a District 54 community as we move forward with our SEA and SEEO Commitments as well.  Join us as we become comfortable with being uncomfortable in order to be the change our students and educators need. We ask you to prioritize the work that needs to be done to develop anti-racist educators amongst our staff. It is necessary to involve not just SEA and SEEO leadership, but also District 54’s Educators of Color in any and all future steps. I know there are educators across the district ready to engage in this work.


The SEA and SEEO will keep you updated on the work we are doing to help lead this necessary change and we hope you will join us in conversations. Thank you for allowing me the time to share this evening.