Following reports of a “slave auction” at a local school, Chatham County Superintendent Anthony Jackson sent a letter to families this week about “recent unacceptable incidents”.
Jackson’s letter does not specifically refer to Ashley Palmer’s allegations that students at JS Waters School in Goldstone held «a slave auction ”where students“ sold ”black students like her son.
But Jackson said in the letter that “racist, homophobic or otherwise hateful behavior or speech has no place in the Chatham County school system.”
Here is Jackson’s full statement, which was sent to families in the 8,800 student district.
“Letter from our community about recent unacceptable incidents:
PITTSBORO – We learned of recent incidents involving students who used inconspicuous racial language and insulting images. These incidents were unacceptable and did not reflect who we are such as the school system or the community. Such incidents cannot and will not be allowed by Chatham County schools.
No student, staff member or family should remain silent if their humanity, dignity or identity is threatened, disrespected or challenged. I want to be crystal clear: racist, homophobic or otherwise hateful behavior or speech has no place in the Chatham County school system. We are better off as a school system and community. I want to assure everyone that we work and will continue to work with families of students who are oriented in this way. Those who act beyond our expectations will be held accountable.
As a system, we have tools to encourage students to express themselves when they are targeted or witness behaviors that are offensive, racist and degrading. We will review these processes to determine whether revision or additional resources are needed, because the truth is that when children master science but do not understand the values of inclusiveness, respect, and diversity, we adults are unable to prepare them for tomorrow .
Moving forward, through our collective work, we must take care to eliminate racism and other negative influences that affect our school community. We need to capture this moment to strengthen our commitment to making everyone feel valued and respected for who they are and for what they contribute to their school and our community. This means facing problems openly, directly, transparently and without apology. This is our moment, we will not miss it.
Superintendent Dr. Anthony Jackson »
Soup. Chatham County says it will not tolerate racist behavior
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