Dear Friends and Families,
The IASD Board of Directors would like to take a moment to reach out to our community regarding some acts of discriminatory behavior that have occurred at the Indiana Area Senior High School over the past several months. These acts have been and will continue to be fully investigated and treated with the utmost seriousness. Additionally, we are asking our families to have a conversation with their child(ren) about the importance of kindness, respect, civility, and dignity.
It is very easy to turn on the national news to see the numerous challenges facing Americans on a daily basis. When historians look back on the past several years, they will undoubtedly see it as a time of strife and important change. Indiana is not immune to these challenges. As such, we, as a Board of Directors, believe that it has a responsibility not only to teach our students the fundamental academic skills necessary for their success, but we also have a responsibility to promote civility among each other, to foster an environment of respect, and to teach the principles of citizenship that allow us to dissent with dignity when faced with viewpoints differing from our own. These principles are what make our country so strong and beautiful.
One of the greatest rights bestowed upon every American is the right to freedom of speech. In fact, the strength of our democracy and our country depends on our ability to vigorously debate ideas. The First Amendment does not, however, defend our ability to defame, harass, hurt, attack, or violate the basic human rights of others. In the era of social media, we live in a day with seemingly endless advice offered by those who have very little authority or expertise. The simple fact that we have the right to say things that would insult one another does not make it the right thing to do.
As you know, it takes our entire community to denounce acts of incivility and discrimination. The benefits of this work will be a brighter future for each individual, a thriving community, and an enriched and civilized society. We have a moral duty to prepare our children for the world that we hope for, as well as for the one in which we currently live. Our District strives to inspire all learners to reach their full potential and create a positive learning environment for every student. We believe that students need to feel valued, know they belong, and to know their voices are heard in our schools in order to be successful, positive, and civic-minded citizens.
We envision a school community where the needs of all of our students are met and differences are celebrated – one in which support for our students is evident every day because that is who we are and what we stand for.
We believe that our actions matter as much as our words, so please know that we are going to continue to do our part as individuals and as an organization. However, this is all of our work, and we invite the community to be part of this process. Constructive exchange depends upon mutual respect. People who want a respectful response from others are generally well advised to start by showing respect for others. We stand by our commitment to create a positive school climate for all students.
IASD Board of Directors