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Monday, June 8, 2020
Recently, FCPS administrators have responded to concerns raised about racially motivated postings by FCPS students on various social media platforms. We understand that emotions are high as a result of recent incidents in the news regarding protests for racial justice around the world in response to the death of George Floyd and similar examples of social injustice.
We believe engaging in respectful, meaningful dialogue between students and staff is healthy and can prove beneficial to building bridges to a stronger community through exploring and understanding our differences. However, we cannot ignore or accept racially charged threats and disrespectful social media postings.
This message serves to remind FCPS staff and students of our Aspirational Goal 5: FCPS will promote a culture fostering wellness and civility for students and staff. Furthermore, under Priority 9: FCPS will promote and maintain a safe and respectful environment. In addition, we recommend a review of Board of Education Policy 309 – Discrimination and Harassment. The purpose of this policy is to provide an environment that is free from discrimination and harassment based on a person’s membership in a protected class.
Our staff is available to support our students by listening with empathy and assisting with developing skills to have difficult conversations while avoiding direct personal attacks. It is our desire to assist our students through this difficult time; however, we will not tolerate racially disparaging remarks or threats to the health and safety of a student. We will cooperate with law enforcement to address incidents of this magnitude.
Dialogues about the social unrest in our country are not easy. We are recommending the below resource to assist families with these discussions with their children:
We are all a part of the FCPS community, and every student has a right to a safe and respectful school experience as a part of the promise of public education. It is FCPS’s desire to nurture healthy relationships amongst our students through the development of tools that will foster a future world where true equality, inclusion and peace will exist and our country can grow stronger together.
Dr. Terry Alban
Frederick County Public Schools