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Woodland D-50 school board addresses racial intimidation, threats

GURNE — At the March 18 meeting, the Woodland Board of Education adopted a resolution addressing racial intimidation and threats. It strongly condemned “intimidation, bullying and threats of violence, and will continue to take all actions necessary to promote a racially inclusive and equitable environment for Board Members, students, teachers and staff through implementation of its policies and compliance with federal laws supporting fair and equal treatment,” according to the resolution.

Here is the statement from the Woodland D-50 Board of Education:

Throughout the 2020-21 school year, our Woodland administration, teachers, staff, and school board members have received an extraordinary amount of correspondence from our community members. In the past month, we have heard from thousands of people expressing a litany of perspectives as we have planned for our students’ return to school. The vast majority of this feedback has proven invaluable in outlining the many ways our transition to the hybrid model will impact our students, families, and faculty. We genuinely appreciate those who have reached out with their concerns and criticisms. We renew our commitment to civil discourse, and we remain committed to our goal of working with community stakeholders in the spirit of openness, transparency, and collaboration.

While critical feedback has been an essential part of our planning process, there have also been hurtful moments in the past month when members of our educational community were subjected to anonymous threatening, intimidating, and/or racist correspondence. These moments must be addressed. As a board of education and administration, we condemn racist language and intent in all its forms and will not tolerate threats or intimidation. Any correspondence that threatens the safety of our faculty, staff, administration, or school board members will be referred to law enforcement. Hateful messages will not receive consideration or a response.

Extraordinary times bring out the best and the worst in all of us. Almost a year into the pandemic, we, as an educational community, have learned valuable lessons about humanity and civility. We have seen teachers, staff, students and families make the best of challenging circumstances, show amazing resilience, and adjust in ways none of us imagined possible. In our classrooms and our lives we understand that we will not always agree, but we believe we share a common mission. We may make mistakes along the way, but this mission drives us to be better and do better for our students. As we move together into the next phase of this extraordinary school-year, we look forward to continuing our work to fulfill this mission: to empower our children to reach their potential by providing exceptional learning experiences that foster critical thinking in a nurturing learning community.

Source: The Daily Chronicle

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