August 14, 2021
As pastor of United Believers Community Church for over 20 years, a long standing Lee’s Summit community member, parent of four Lee’s Summit graduates, former math teacher, and a recognized national leader, I recognize we are in an unprecedented time in LSR-7. We continue to battle a lingering pandemic, inappropriate language, and unfounded fear of truthful curriculum.
For more than two years, we’ve followed every moment in the contentious and sometimes divisive journey towards equity for all students. We have seen the data indicating that an opportunity gap persists between students of color and white students at every grade level and in every content area. And this was all before the pandemic. The gap could be even worse now.
So where do we go from here, Lee’s Summit? Community or chaos?
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once stated, “There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take that position because conscience tells him it is right.” This school year is one of those meaningful moments when what is right must be accomplished in the life of LSR-7.
Doing what is right means upholding the highest level of accountability in leadership.
Doing what is right means strengthening policies that enable equitable access, opportunity, and protection for all students.
Doing what is right means continuing equity training for the board, staff and community.
Doing what is right is implementing culturally responsive pedagogy that recognizes the importance of including students’ cultural references in all aspects of learning.
Doing what is right means recruiting, hiring and retaining a diverse LSR-7 staff to reflect the student population.
My reference book, The Bible, reminds me that there is a time for every season. Now is the time and this is the season to do what’s right for LSR-7 students.
We can pivot from chaos and confusion and begin to progress towards community and change.
We stand ready and willing to partner with you for equity.
The entire Lee’s Summit community is watching.
The nation is watching.
Equity can not wait. Kids can not wait.
Pastor Darron LaMonte
Lee’s Summit, MO