We, the undersigned Montessori leadership organizations in the United States of America, are responding to the recent actions of the leadership of the Maria Montessori Academy in North Ogden, Utah, which allowed parents to make the decision regarding their children’s participation in Black History month activities, as well as the entitlement of the parents who demanded such an option be given.
This is 401 years of systemic oppression and the devaluation of Black lives. This oppression and systemic racism is in Montessori – in our schools, our organizations, and in our discourse of the model as a vehicle for peace. It’s fed to our students through the white Eurocentric focus of our teachings. It is honored through the use of “grace and courtesy” to silence outcries of injustice in our schools, our training centers, and our children’s classrooms. And it is ignored through the use of posted solidarity statements but no actual action.
Less than two months ago, when the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe’s land and rights to self-governance were under attack at the hands of the government, a call for support was met with swift action from members of Montessori for Social Justice. Today, the United States government is again implementing practices, policies, and tweets that support racist violence against Black and brown relatives.
On Friday, March 27th, the anniversary of the landing of the Mayflower, the U.S. Department of the Interior ordered that the Mashpee Wampanoag (the tribe that welcomed the pilgrims) reservation land be disestablished. This crushing decision was made in the middle of a global pandemic, forcing the Mashpee Wampanoag’s leadership to divert precious resources from addressing the threat of COVID-19 toward fighting this blatant act of settler-colonial violence and disregard for tribal sovereignty.
To the Montessori for Social Justice Community, First, we would like to acknowledge the difficult position many in our broader Montessori community are in as a result of the recent cancellations and travel bans. Choosing to close schools to protect the health of our students sometimes comes at a steep financial cost. We also see many in our Montessori community exchanging ideas for how to support at home learning, and are… Read More »Statement Regarding COVID-19
Dear Montessori for Social Justice Community, The American election results have impacted our children, families, schools and all of us and in many different ways. The messages of hate that many of us heard during the campaign have become real and threatening. Some of us have felt uncertainty, fear, rejection, concern for our physical safety and the safety of our children and our friends. Students and teachers who are more… Read More »MSJ Statement on the Election