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Hundreds of Seattle teachers wear ‘Black Lives Matter’ shirts to school

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SEATTLE — Teachers, students and parents across Seattle public schools are wearing “Black Lives Matter” t-shirts Wednesday to promote racial equity in schools.

Organizers say many educators in Washington’s largest school district are voluntarily using the day to lead discussions about institutional racism, teach about black history and hold rallies.

High school teacher and organizer Jesse Hagopian told KUOW that the day of action offers opportunities to address racial inequities in schools. He notes, for example, that graduation rates are disproportionately lower and suspension rates much higher for black students compared to white students.

Some have questioned whether the action in public schools is appropriate.

The 5000-member union representing Seattle educators is backing it.

Meanwhile, the district is in the midst of a week campaign to eliminate opportunity gaps in schools, including disparities in achievement between white students and students of color.