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CASSW Statement

Though racism in this country has been present since its formation, the Board of Directors of CASSW find it necessary at this point in time to state emphatically and without reservation that Black lives and Black minds matter. We fully support the current uprising, ignited by the murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor, Rayshard Brooks, and George Floyd at the hands of police.

As School Social Workers, we bear witness to the damaging effects of persistent racism that is an ongoing reality for our Black students and families as well as for our Black colleagues. We see the trauma that results from racism both experienced and witnessed. The NASW Code of Ethics that is foundational to our work implores us to challenge social injustice. We are expected to “promote policies that safeguard the rights of and confirm equity and social justice for all people.”

To that end, as a state association, we plan to improve our anti-racist practices by:

Identifying and paying leaders in the field to facilitate trainings and consultations on anti-racist practices in schools that will be free to CASSW members

Donating $1000 to the Black Emotional and Mental Health Collective

Advocating for legislative change at the local, state, and national level and updating the membership on the progress of those efforts

Compiling, developing, and disseminating resources to support anti-racist school social work practice

Prioritizing conference proposals and ongoing professional development that focuses on anti-racist practices

Continuing to learn and grow as well as support the learning and growth of our membership

We encourage our community of School Social Workers to support school district policies which should include:

Replacing school-based law enforcement personnel with PPS credentialed school staff, including School Social Workers, who are qualified to provide social and emotional supports for students and the community

Eliminating zero tolerance policies which have been selectively enforced, biased, and disproportionately impact Black, Indigenous, and students of color - particularly boys.

Eliminating school suspension as a disciplinary practice outside of when clear issues of safety require it

Stopping the pipeline to prison by replacing punitive approaches to social problems with restorative practices and restorative justice

Educating children on the history of slavery and subjugation of native people and the persistence of racial bias - including how microaggressions and certain symbols create ongoing harm

Ensuring that districts are following the FAIR Education Act which includes the positive contributions of African Americans (among many other groups)

Training all teachers in the use of trauma informed practices as a strategy to be more responsive to the effects of community violence and race based maltreatment

CASSW will continue to support, encourage and engage in anti-racist actions. Black students lives matter, Black families lives matter, Black social worker lives matter, Black Trans lives matter and ALL Black Lives Matter.

California Association of School Social Workers

Board of Directors

Maria Al-Shamma, MSW, PPSC

Robert Ayasse, LCSW, PPSC

Maggie Bishop, MSW, PPSC

Paul Brazzel LCSW, PPSC

Cristina Dobon-Claveau. LCSW, PPSC

Abbie Gregor LCSW, PPSC

Cherie Hudson, LCSW, PPSC

Vanessa D. Marrero

Dan McCarthy, LCSW PPSC

Kimberlee McMillian, LCSW, PPSC

Patrick Mulkern, MSW, PPSC

Jenée Peevy, MSW, PPSC

Michelle C. Santiago, LCSW, PPSC

Julie Slater North, MSW, PPSC

Louisa Triandis LCSW, PPSC

Jesica Uriostegui Pavon, MSW, PPSC

Dr. Omar Zavalza, LCSW, PPSC

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1 Comment

The signers of this statement and its author premised their entire cause on mis-information and a lie. "Murder" is adjudicated in the courts, not in popular mob opinion. Furthermore the "murder" of "Ahmaud Arbery" was not, "at the hands of the police".

Tony McDade recorded himself saying on Facebook he was going to pull a gun on police and point it at them so they would kill him in a suicide-by-cop. And that's what the police say happened. You can look it up. Tragic and unfortunate. In addition to people who are suicidal there are also people out there committing violent crimes, some of whom happen to be African American, and just because police end up being forced to defend…

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