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Letter: Community buy-in important for success

I was also a white principal at a school that had a majority of Black students. The school was located in South Carolina. How should a school celebrate Black History Month? The key is early planning and allowing your Black teachers to meet together and select a committee that would have the responsibility of determining how to celebrate Black History Month. Encourage the Black teachers to select some white teachers to be on the committee as well, and invite some community and religious people to also serve on the committee. Give the committee a deadline for completing a written plan of celebration.

Once the committee has a written plan, they would submit it to the principal for approval. The principal should send the proposed plan to the superintendent of schools, and the superintendent should present it to the board of education. Once the final plan is constructed, it should be sent to the parents of the students so they could be informed of the plan.

This would not guarantee a perfect plan, but it might guarantee a plan that is accepted by the school and the community. The more ownership one has with a plan, the more acceptable it may become. Early planning and involving the right players is a big key to the success of any plan.

Finally, if a mistake is made, and mistakes do happen, the principal does not receive the total blame. At least it is shared by many people. Misery loves company!

— Gordon Correll




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