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Community Letter from Superintendent and Board President, 6/19/20

Dear Montgomery Township School District Community Members,

We would like to sincerely thank everyone who participated, whether by their comments and questions or by their presence, in Wednesday evening’s Special Board Meeting and Community Forum: STANDING UP TO RACISM TOGETHER. Many showed courage in sharing unpleasant and hurtful experiences.  While this was difficult to hear, we are ready to work together to stop these experiences from continuing.  

As this was a public Board of Education meeting, a recording of this meeting will be available on the district website by the end of next week for those who could not attend. The district acknowledges the need for systemic change and has begun addressing concerns shared. We are currently developing a plan that includes a timeline and look forward to sharing first steps at the next Board of Education meeting on Tuesday, June 23, 2020. Many of the areas will require greater and systematic analysis and response plans. We look forward to continuing the dialogue and taking action together. 

In our letter dated June 2, 2020, we shared the occurrence of bias incidents reported to the district.  At the meeting on Wednesday evening, questions were raised regarding consequences for specific students that we cannot answer due to the laws pertaining to student confidentiality. We have zero tolerance for bias and discrimination. We follow the law in regard to Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying and implement restorative practices that not only address the specific incident for all students affected, but also foster positive behavioral change and social-emotional support. Restorative practices help to address the root cause of the problem and ensure that students are held accountable, take ownership, and use this as an opportunity to learn and correct future behavior. There were also questions raised regarding how to access our policies. Our Board of Education Policies can be found using this link:  MTSD Policies and Regulations. Policies specifically regarding Harrassment, Intimidation and Bullying are provided in the following link: HIB - Anti Bullying Information.

We look forward to continuing our collaboration with the community to address much needed change.

 

Most sincerely,

Mary & Joanne

 

Mary E. McLoughlin Joanne D. Tonkin
Acting Superintendent                       Board of Education President