To the editor:

On Monday, Oct. 18, with the resounding support of hundreds of community members, the Lawrence School Committee voted to petition the state’s education commissioner to end the receivership of the city’s schools. This letter is in support of this move.

We are a collective of community members, educators and elected officials who call Lawrence home. And we are deeply concerned for the well-being and future of our community. We are the Greater Lawrence Education Justice Alliance.

The crisis at Lawrence High School represents the culmination of compounded trauma that our students have experienced these past years.

The receivership, since its start in 2011, has failed to properly respond to student’s social and emotional needs, and Commissioner Jeffrey Riley is directly responsible. We must work together to hold them accountable.

Furthermore, the root of the problem lies in a racist and classist receivership law that lends tremendous power to the hands of the commissioner. This law allows him to take all power away from communities and sets up a dynamic that is unjust.

Many want to hold committee members and the superintendent responsible. Good, but that is only a half step. We must also put pressure on our legislators to rewrite or repeal Chapter 69, Section 1K, the law that they have yet to challenge.

We demand that the state, Commissioner Jeff Riley, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, and members of the state delegation who represent Lawrence take ownership of remediating the root cause of the crisis, ending receivership and restoring local control.

Members OF

The Greater Lawrence Education Justice Alliance

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