Although non-partisan, Bethlehem CARES takes positions on issues relevant to our mission of dismantling systemic racism and counteracting its effects on marginalized communities within the Bethlehem Central School District. To contact us for additional information on these issues, or to bring a new issue to our attention, please email contact@bethlehemnycares.org.

We Support Tamara Starr and Robert Tietjen in the May 2022 election for Board of Education.

Of the candidates running for election to the Bethlehem Central Board of Education, we believe Tamara Starr and Robert Tietjen will tackle systemic racism in Bethlehem and promote an inclusive school district. Our school board needs leaders who will listen and ask the right questions, who believe our children and teachers when they share their experiences, and who will take action to make our district a better, more equitable place for all students.

Graphic with the text "On May 17, VOTE Tamara Starr Robert Tietjen Bethlehem School Board. Bethlehem CARES (Champions for Antiracism and Reinforcing Equity in Schools)

We have concerns about the School Resource Officer program.

On March 25, 2022, we sent a letter to the Bethlehem Central Board of Education to add our voice to the ongoing conversation about the role of School Resource Officers (SROs) in Bethlehem schools. We believe that it is important to continue and build upon the conversations that took place during the Police Reform and Reinvention Collaborative process, including additonal steps such as:

  1. Establishing goals and measurable outcomes for the SRO program.

  2. Hiring an experienced Diversity, Equity & Inclusion professional to lead the district’s efforts in this arena.

  3. Extending the middle school program of utilizing trauma-informed learning into the high school.

Read our letter to the school board here.

We support the Board of Education in advancing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

On December 14, 2021, we reintroduced our group to the Board of Education and expressed our support for the Board's attention to issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion, and for the willingness of Board members to ask the hard questions and push for change where it is needed. We also expressed our commitment to having hard conversations, actively promoting antiracist policies, and advocating for marginalized communities.

Read our letter to the school board here.

We support an anti-racist curriculum in Bethlehem schools.

In September 2021, we sent a letter to the Board of Education introducing the new Bethlehem CARES group, formed by members of the two parent/guardian/caregiver cohorts of the "Bridging the Divide" workshop series. We noted some of the reasons we had decided to tackle the issue of racism in our school district, and voiced our support for developing an anti-racist educational curriculum that fully encompasses people of color and their perspectives.

Read our letter to the school board here.

We appreciate the Bridging the Divide program but feel that more work is needed.

In Feburary and March 2021, Bethlehem Central School District offered a four-part workshop series, titled "Bridging the Divide," for parents, guardians and caregivers of BCSD students. The workshops were designed to bring about an understanding of racial and cultural equity and support effective cultural responsiveness in our school community.

At the conclusion of this workshop series, the members of one of the cohorts reached out to the Board of Education to express our appreciation for the opportunity, but more importantly to express that the issues exposed during the workshop warranted further discussion and action. We committed to continuing to meet as a group and to advocating for meaningful action to combat racism and strengthen our school community. Joining with members of the other cohort, we formed Bethlehem CARES.

Read our letter to the school board here.