MASD Statement on Racial Injustice

MASD Statement on Racial Injustice
Posted on 06/09/2020

Dear Parent/Guardian:

Over the past two weeks racial injustice protests have dominated national and local news reports following the horrific death suffered by George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota. This is not the first time American citizens have experienced such disbelief over the disregard for human life; in particular for black lives. Systemic racism has been a long-standing issue in America and unfortunately continues. As a public education entity, Middletown Area School District exists to provide a free, appropriate public education for ALL students. At this unsettling time of civil unrest in our society, we feel compelled to unequivocally state that we stand in support of racial equality. As an educational institution, we must do our part to eradicate racism and social injustice in our country, in our communities, and in our school systems regardless of political affiliation. We must teach and model respect for all people and speak out when injustice occurs.

Although recent events in our country have focused on racial inequality, examples of social injustice extend beyond race. Any discrimination of an individual or group of people based on race, age, creed, religion, sex, sexual orientation, ancestry, national origin, marital status, pregnancy or handicap/disability, cannot and will not be tolerated in Middletown Area School District. Unfair or unequal treatment of any person that is discriminatory is unjust, and as an educational institution we have a responsibility to do more, to become positive change agents, and to speak out against social injustice.
The demographics of Middletown Area School District are diverse. Nearly 40% of our students are minorities (African-American, Bi-Racial, Asian, Hispanic, and American-Indian). Just as we believe that all students can learn, we expect that all human beings should be treated fairly with dignity and respect. MASD pledges to continue to study current practices and policies that impact the culture of our School District, to provide diversity training for employees, and to listen to the voices of those who feel oppressed in any way. Board Policy #103 (Non-Discrimination in School and Classroom Practices) outlines the process for reporting any forms of discrimination to District officials. The form accompanying the policy is available on the District website as Attachment #103.

Doing more and being better requires action. Middletown Area School District’s call to action is two-fold:

  1. To create a forum (committee) to engage in deeper dialogue and give a voice to issues of racial injustice and other forms of discrimination with the goal of creating a more inclusive environment in MASD where differences are celebrated, regardless of race, religion, gender, or disability.
  2. To develop a diversity, equity and inclusion plan in MASD that addresses recruiting/hiring practices; reviews educational materials and curriculum resources to ensure that students of color are proportionally represented; promotes equity; and increases both student and staff awareness of social justice issues.

We can make a difference. Let’s stand together against racism and other forms of social injustice. Parents, students, employees, and residents are invited to join the MASD Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee. Please contact me at lsuski@raiderweb.org if you are interested in working together to make a positive change.

Sincerely,

Dr. Lori A. Suski
Superintendent of Schools

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