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The Bourne School Committee voted 6-1 last week to support an anti-racism resolution as outlined by the Massachusetts Association of School Committees.

The statement was drafted in June. Bourne joins multiple districts across Barnstable County as well as the state in supporting its contents.

Board vice chairman Paul McMaster said the association has asked all school committees to pass the resolution, which he said is important in the current environment.

"Real leadership starts locally," he said. "Everyone on this board was elected or appointed and has the legal right to lead, but our moral right to lead comes from our willingness to stand by the kind of principals in this resolution."

Among the statements in the resolution are entreaties to recruit a diverse workforce, examine policies for systemic racism and incorporate works of diverse authors into the curriculum, as well as the history of racial oppression.

District leaders are also implored to break their silence on issues "of racism and hate that continue to plague our public and private institutions."

The statement concludes by saying that MASC members should ensure that every school district in the state eradicates any racist practices, and that diversity and inclusion are made part of the everyday culture of schools in Massachusetts.

"We must ensure our own school culture and that of every district in the Commonwealth is anti-racist, that acknowledges that all lives cannot matter until Black lives matter," the statement concludes.

Bourne's support of the statement was not unanimous, with board member Steven Strojny expressing concern that the wording of the resolution was too political. He said that saying racism plagues educational institutions is false when it comes to Bourne and that using the phrase "Black lives matter" connects the resolution to what he referred to as a "social and political movement."

Mr. Strojny said he feels the statement went beyond the purview of the school board and that while the spirit of the resolution is good, he does not feel the statement pertained to Bourne as written.

"I think it's a mistake to adopt a political movement as a district," he said.

Fellow member Christopher Hyldburg said the board has supported resolutions over the years that were presented in a similar vein— specifically recalling one that came after the Sandy Hook school shooting in December 2012. However, he agreed with Mr. Strojny that the anti-racism resolution feels more political.

"I think, as Steve mentioned, the spirit of this document is well-meaning, well-deserved, and overdue," he said. "There's a lot of value in implementing many of these."

However, he noted, other districts have reworded the resolution to fit their specific needs and he wondered if Bourne might be able to do the same.

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