Superintendent's Email About Rise in Disrespectful Incidents
From: Hanna, Rocky
Sent: Tuesday, March 21, 2017 5:36 PM
One of the strengths of our school system can be found in the way our students embrace diversity. As a former principal, I am proud of the way the students at Leon treated each other regardless of their social and cultural differences. It was truly a beautiful thing to see.
The fact remains, though, there are opportunities for our district to do better.
Yesterday, I had a very productive conversation with one of our parents about her daughter’s experience at Deerlake Middle School. I have been reassured by Principal Crowe that the immediate situation has been resolved. Given my negative experience as a former student at Raa Middle School and Leon High School over 30 years ago, I have zero tolerance for racism, harassment, or bullying behaviors in our schools.
I am troubled by the increase in the amount of these types of incidents within our school communities, especially in light of the current rhetoric taking place in our country. At the same time, I am optimistic about our schools’ potential to make change that positively impact our schools and community. On Thursday, I will be at Chiles High School to experience their Living Holocaust Museum and to listen to a presentation from a Holocaust survivor. Following the presentation, I will meet with Principals Crowe and Burgess to continue to discuss different ways to build our students’ acceptance of diverse cultures and ethnicities. I will also be speaking with many of our principals about this issue over the next few weeks.
I have spoken with Ron Sachs from Sachs Communication about developing a districtwide campaign focused on the acceptance of diversity within our schools. We agreed to work on this idea together with the goal of deploying the strategy in time for the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year.
I am proud of the work being done in our schools. We are focused on providing learning experiences for our students both in and out of the classroom. I will continue to work to improve our system with any opportunity that arises. I look forward to working with each of you on this very important project. In Leon County Schools, we value and respect diversity.