‘This is not acceptable’ – Rockwood School Board issues statement after recent threats

Missouri

EUREKA, Mo. – At the end of a nearly three-hour meeting with more than 30 public comments, Rockwood School District’s Board of Education read a statement discussing recent harassment and said it is “not acceptable.”

Some teachers in the district had said they were concerned about their safety after continued threats regarding the district’s move toward “equity and inclusion” education programs.

Community members, teachers, parents, and students, some for and some against the diversity, equity, and inclusion curriculum at the district spoke out during the meeting.

Superintendent Mark Miles thanked everyone for their public comment, but he did not read the official statement denouncing recent activity. Instead, a member of the board did.

The statement said in part:

We would like to begin with a sincere thank you to our teachers, administrators and support staff for continuing to love, nurture and educate our children despite the noise and challenges of the 2020-2021 school year. We want you to know that we support you and appreciate all that you do for our students. This year our district and our staff have been the subject of sometimes hateful and certainly hurtful social media posts, emails, and voicemails. This is not acceptable.

Harassment in any form is not acceptable, racism in any form is not acceptable. It is an embarrassment and it does not reflect who we are as a district. We call on all stakeholders, parents, community members, staff, and students to stop spreading hate and shame, help us build our beloved community where everyone belongs and feels safe. We implore you to think about what you say, what you post, what you write in an email. Listen to understand and consider the perspectives of others. Form a positive relationship with your child’s teacher and administrator in a supportive and gracious manner, develop trust so that you can have respectful conversations when you have a concern or a question related to your child’s education. We want to be very clear, the Rockwood School District is not teaching critical race theory, we are committed to providing an equitable, welcoming, and safe learning environment for all students as outlined in The Way Forward. We value and embrace diversity and want our students to consider various perspectives.

The board also announced Timothy Ricker will take over as interim superintendent of the Rockwood School District when Miles leaves.

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