Letter: School closures have bigger impact on children of color

Published 12:00 am Sunday, December 8, 2019

We, the Salisbury-Rowan Branch of the NAACP, are concerned the Rowan-Salisbury school system’s planned action to deliberate whether to dismantle Overton Elementary School falls into a national trend of school closures that disproportionately impact children of color and, more specifically, black children.

Nationally and in various states, local NAACP branches are in a struggle to stave off these school closures to fulfill our mission to address racial inequity. 

As we consider the decisions ahead for the Rowan-Salisbury school system, we strongly recommend that the school board consider and exhaust all measures to ensure equity for all students and make the most favorable outcome with the students as priorities. 

The Salisbury-Rowan Branch is willing and ready and has joined with coalitions to support Overton Elementary and Knox Middle getting a new K-8 school. We will continue to be vigilant in our oversight of future plans of the school board concerning the entire matter of consolidation and closing. 

It is imperative that we afford our children the opportunity to thrive in learning, as their future depends on it. In the words of George Washington Carver, “Education is the key to unlock the golden door of freedom.” 

— Gemale Black


Editor’s note: Gemale Black is president of the Salisbury-Rowan Branch of the NAACP.