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State Public Education Department officials visit Las Cruces schools to talk about discrimination

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Bulletin report

Las Cruces Public Schools Superintendent Ralph Ramos and members of his executive team met with New Mexico Public Education Department (NMPED) Deputy Secretary for Identity, Equity and Transformation Vickie Bannerman, Ph.D. and other NMPED leadership, including Black Education Liaison Nicole Bedford, Black Education Curriculum Coordinator Simone Vann, and Black Education Curriculum Coordinator/Anti-Racism Anti Oppression Hotline Manager Devon Williams.

Bannerman and her team were also in Las Cruces to participate in Black History Month activities sponsored by New Mexico State University’s Black Programs and Black Student Association.

The NMPED and LCPS officials visited students at Zia Middle School and Las Cruces High School (LCHS) during the day.

LCHS student government engaged in discussions about discrimination and how as student leaders, they would address those issues, LCPS said in a news release.

“Students talked about their experiences working together to create clubs to provide their peers with a strong sense of belonging,” the school district said. Student-driven organizations such as the Best Buddies Club were established by LCHS students to help build comradery.

“We help create a safe space, to create space, to help others find their space,” said LCHS junior Christa Smith.

LCPS will work with Bannerman’s team at NMPED on the monitoring and implementation of the New Mexico Black Education Act, along with Indian, Hispanic and bilingual multicultural education and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.