Holt public schools creates racially-inclusive t-shirts to honor black students

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HOLT, Mich. (WLNS)— May 25, 2020, marks the anniversary of George Floyd’s death which sparked racial unrest across the country. This upcoming may be a very emotional experience for black students across schools in the United States. Holt Public Schools is on board with a unique project brought forth by their Holt Equity and Inclusion Team (HEAT.) Their school district will honor the death of George Floyd and their fellow black students with the idea of racially inclusive t-shirts. 

Sarah Moore, a teacher for Holt Public Schools introduced the idea of t-shirts that read, “Our Black Students Matter” to the school district and the school’s inclusion team. The idea inspired Moore off of an online social media post that linked to another school in a different state doing a similar project. 

 “I brought this fresh idea that what if we use this shirt that say’s ‘our black students matter’ and use that to stand together in unity on May 25th,” Moore suggested. 

The Holt Public School District has previously declared racism as a public health crisis, and Moore stated when she suggested the idea to their Superintendent, and the HEAT team there was a positive response. They worked together to come up with a planning process where they teamed up with a small black-owned business as a vendor to create the t-shirts. 

“I just want our black students, black families to feel some support, and feel some sense of being centered because I don’t think it happens enough,” Moore said.

Currently, no shirts are delivered but they are expecting delivery before May 25, 2021, for students K through 12 to wear, parents, and faculty across their district. However, the t-shirts are priced at $10.00 apiece for adults and $5.00 for students. Moore stated many community members have donated extra money to support the cause for kids who might not financially afford the shirts.

Also, they have given the option for families to provide sponsorship and purchase excess t-shirts. Therefore, students or faculty who still want to take part in the broad message of respect, unity, and solidarity for George Floyd, and black students would need to place an order, and they would be financially covered. 

“Our superintendent has sent out information to all of our students, and families so they all have the plan on what to expect,” Moore exclaimed. 

“We have about 40 percent students of color within our district,” Christopher Billingslea, the Inclusion and Outreach Coordinator for Holt Public Schools stated. 

Moore teamed up with Christopher Billingslea, the Inclusion and Outreach Coordinator for Holt Public Schools to manage the t-shirt project. Billingslea says he’s proud of the initiative and hopes this can bring some peace to students understanding the school district, and faculty cares for them. 

“Our students of color need to know we’re not alienating any other students, any other race, any other gender,” Billingslea said. “We are just saying you know what our students of color are specifically black students we love, appreciate you, we’re here to do all that we can for you.”

For more information regarding the t-shirts visit the Holt Equity and Access team’s page online. 

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