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Community Letter from Acting Superintendent, Board President, and HS Principal 6/2/20

Dear Montgomery Township Community,

It is with saddened hearts that we write this correspondence.  First, it is important to share with our community that there is no place for racism, discrimination or bias in the Montgomery Township School District, our community, or anywhere. However, there are sadly and tragically those who perpetuate these gross offenses. We saw this with our own eyes in Minneapolis and the tragic murder of Mr. George Floyd, a 46-year old black man, by a Minneapolis police officer. This has shaken our country to the core and has provoked many feelings, some that even those feeling them cannot explain. 

Mistreatment of any person is unacceptable.  We are now witnessing community members and law enforcement participating in demonstrations together to express solidarity in sentiment and outrage. In addition to the stressors of living through this pandemic, our children are now faced with added events that they may not fully understand. Our school counselors are available if you need any assistance for your children or for your families.  Please email your child’s counselor to discuss your concerns.   Counselors will be happy to facilitate individual and small group meetings regarding these issues. 

Further, our district became aware of racially offensive messages that were sent by two students pertaining to what is happening in our country. The messages were posted on social media as a means by which to condemn the racist remarks. The Montgomery Board of Education, the administration, staff, students, and many community members are outraged by this behavior. The school district administration is investigating the matter in accordance with board policies. The Montgomery Township Police Department has been notified and is involved and coordinating the investigations. The administration and board will take whatever measures necessary to fully address this matter. 

As representatives of the school district, we can not share any additional information due to the laws of confidentiality. Our first and foremost mission is to ensure the safety and security of every student. That includes their environment being free from harassment, discrimination, bias, and other hurtful behaviors and language. We will not and can not accept or tolerate expressions that are demoralizing and destructive. As educators, we have a responsibility to not only address the offense, but to also use this incident as a teachable moment, promoting respect, responsibility, and accountability.  As we are overwhelmingly disheartened that some students would choose to make such horrific posts, we are incredibly proud of the many current and former students who have reached out to report these incidents. Montgomery Township School District has only the highest expectations for the behavior of our students, and these upstanders can help restore faith that the actions of some are not the beliefs of many.  To the contrary, the overwhelming response from people appalled by these posts is indicative that opinions like those posted are not welcome in our community.

Thank you for your continued support.  

Sincerely,

Mary E. McLoughlin                   Joanne D. Tonkin                                          Paul J. Popadiuk

Acting Superintendent            Board of Education President                   MHS Principal