Non-White Families Are ‘Priority Families’ At Cambridge Public Schools Event This Weekend

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If you’re not white and have a child in the Cambridge Public School system, then the district describes you as among its “priority families.”

Cambridge Public Schools is planning to host an event on Saturday, March 26 called “Rollin’ & Summer Resources” from 1 to 4:30 p.m. – but the time families can attend the event is in part based on race, as first reported by the Twitter account Libs of TikTok.

“K-8 families … get a jump start on summer planning at next Saturday’s Rollin’ & Summer Resources event at CSUS/King Open! Formerly known as Camp Night, this event is packed with fun activities for children and excellent resources,” the school district’s web site says of the event.

A flier for the event says that the district is putting it on “to help Cambridge families get ready for summer.”

The flier and the school’s web site both note that from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m., the event is only open to “priority families.” These families include “families of color, free/reduced lunch, families who have a child with disabilities and families whose first language is not english.” (The word for the common language of the United States is not capitalized in the flier.)

After the first hour and a half, the event from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. is open “to all families,” according to the flier. That includes all of the aforementioned groups as well as many white families, since they were the only ones excluded from the earlier event time.

The school district says the event is for “K-8 families.” There will be snacks, roller skating, and “some entertainment for younger children,” according to the event flier.

The event is set to take place in the King Open Building at the Cambridge Street Upper School.

Cambridge Public Schools communications director Sujata Wycoff told NewBostonPost that while the school could have worded its flier better, school officials thought it was important to give priority to certain groups of people over others.

Here is what she said by email:


Cambridge Public Schools deeply values equity and ensuring valuable information is accessible to each and everyone of our families. In an effort to reach and engage with families who are sometimes marginalized and underrepresented at district-wide events, a dedicated time was set aside at the “Rollin’ and Summer Resources” event. We regret the use of the phrase “priority families” on the flyer. It was not our intent to cause any harm in any way.


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