Pittsford Central School District response to allegations of racism
Posted by Nancy Wayman on 4/29/2019 5:50:00 PM
Source of Inaccuracy: News Article
What is the District’s stance on racism?
The Superintendent of Schools and the Pittsford Board of Education spoke publicly and were clear at the Board of Education meeting on April 23, 2019, that racism and the use of the “n-word” will not be tolerated. Period. No exception.
Superintendent Pero reiterated this in a letter to PCSD parents and staff on April 25, 2019. PCSD is committed to not only eliminating racism, but creating a culture of full inclusion for everyone.
Were there consequences for the student incident that was reported in the news story?
While comments circulating in social media appear to assume no action was taken, this is not factual. The District is legally prohibited from discussing consequences for specific incidents, however all reports are taken seriously, dealt with swiftly, and appropriate consequences are applied.
What is the District doing to discuss the issue of racism?
In September of this year the Board of Education and Superintendent Pero created an Inclusivity Advisory Committee; a committee comprised of experts in all areas related to full inclusion. To learn more about the members of this committee, here’s a link to their video profiles: https://www.pittsfordschools.org/site/Default.aspx?PageID=22444.
What is PCSD doing to move our community forward?
PCSD is taking the following immediate actions:
- Inclusivity Event on Racism on Thursday, May 2
Pittsford Central School District and the Town of Pittsford will host an inclusivity event on racism facilitated by Partners in Restorative Initiatives (PIRI). The event is from 6:30-8:30 pm at Calkins Road Middle School, in the Commons. While this is an inclusivity event on racism, PCSD is planning other events over the next school year to address full inclusivity. More details will follow as they become available.
Superintendent Pero has invited the NYS Education Department’s Center for School Safety to conduct an audit of PCSD’s Dignity for All Students Act (DASA) process, culture and climate in our schools, and District policies. Results of the audit will be shared with the community once it is completed.
Zero tolerance for racism and the use of the “n word”
PCSD is committed to eliminating all forms of racism and hatred toward any individual or group. There is a lot of misinformation circulating in the community about our handling of these issues. While the District is legally prohibited from discussing consequences for specific incidents, please be assured that all reports are taken seriously, dealt with swiftly, and appropriate consequences are applied. There are no exceptions.
Rewriting of Student Code of Conduct
During this school year, the Student Code of Conduct has been under review and is being rewritten to be more explicit in the areas of race. Superintendent Pero is meeting with students on the Superintendent’s Student Advisory Committee in early May for their review and input on proposed changes. After their input has been received and proposed changes to the Codes of Conduct have been completed, the revised Code of Conduct will go to the Board of Education for review and approval.
Summer 2019 Professional Development
There will be several professional development workshops again this summer for teachers and staff on the topics of racism, hidden biases, inclusivity, diversity and school safety, and restorative practices. Among the workshops planned to date, some of the topics include “Advancing Racial Justice,” “Let’s Talk About Hate,” “Racism and Poverty,” “Hidden Biases,” and “Safe and Inclusive Schools.”