Dear AUSD Community,
Both Superintendent Williams and I know that the posting of racially offensive and hurtful pictures on Instagram has deeply impacted our community. We are extremely disturbed by these photos and saddened that this occurred at AHS. Racially offensive and other hurtful behavior will not be tolerated at any of our schools. Our Board Policy states "The Board prohibits, at any District school or school activity, unlawful discrimination, harassment, intimidation, and bullying of any student based on the student's actual race, color, ancestry, national origin, ethnic group identification, age, religion, marital or parental status, physical or mental disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or gender expression; the perception of one or more of such characteristics; or association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics."
In accordance with existing Board policy, to the extent possible, district and school strategies shall focus on prevention of bullying by establishing clear rules for student conduct and strategies to establish a positive, collaborative school climate. Over the coming days, weeks and months, we will be reviewing our policies, curriculum, and training so that we can make sure our students grow to become the best world-citizens they can be. Our district leadership team is also working on a professional development plan for staff this spring and in the 2017-18 school year to provide staff with strategies to prevent and address issues around bullying, harassment, and racism including culturally responsive teaching and practices, and strategies to successfully address these issues when they arise.
Most immediately we need to salve the injury and hurt of the those who were victimized. We are committed to restoring the trust and comfort that all of our Albany schools are safe and harassment-free learning environments.
Superintendent Williams and her staff will be working with every constituent group that is interested in improving the learning environment and preventing racism and bullying in our schools. As stated in our Mission and Vision statement, "AUSD is committed to creating comprehensive learning opportunities in a safe, supportive, and collaborative environment."
Paul Black, AUSD Board President
Val Williams, Superintendent