End the duopoly

Gwinnett educators demand diversity, equality in curriculum

Anthony Downer and Aireane Montgomery have a lot in common. Both teach at Gwinnett County Public Schools, and both are products of that school system.

He graduated from Berkmar in 2013 and she from Brookhaven in 2009.

As Black students, Downer and Montgomery said they didn’t have many teachers who looked like them or could relate to their culture and life experiences.

Montgomery often quotes research from Johns Hopkins University that shows having one Black teacher in elementary school makes Black children more likely to graduate high school and significantly more likely to enroll in college.

“I had one Black teacher in high school,” she said. “I’m blessed that I had great teachers regardless of their color and I turned out well, but I’m an exception.”

Employed by a school district with the most diverse student population in the state — and one of the most diverse in the country — they want better for their students and their community. Montgomery and Downer, along with other district employees, formed Gwinnett Educators for Equity and Justice.The group is asking for more diversity and inclusion in hiring and retaining teachers and other staff. It wants lessons that are less Euro-centric and that include the accomplishments and […]

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