Recently, current and former Steele Canyon High School student experiences of racism have been shared publicly on Instagram. We are saddened to read these experiences as they do not represent the values and traditions we promote as a group of educators. We want to express to our community that we value the uniqueness that each student brings to our campus and strive to make each student feel safe and included. We applaud our students for speaking up and having the bravery to share their experiences publicly.
We recognize that we are imperfect and the experiences shared by our students highlight where we fell short of our ideal and where we need to be better. We will be better.
We have a capable and highly qualified staff that is dedicated to building community in and out of the classroom. We educate our students to Say Something, Start with Hello, and have a robust Safe School Ambassadors Program. We provide regular and ongoing education to our staff on restorative practices. We keep them up-to-date on current law as it relates to inclusiveness, particularly to support our LGBTQ+ community. While these are programs that we are proud of, it is not enough.
To address our shortcomings, we will develop an education-based action plan that includes all stakeholders so we can better learn from the experiences of the past. We will create avenues of reporting and training for students in how to respond should they be the target of racism. We will engage our student groups to learn from what school is like through their lens and their experience.
As an administration we vow to take all reports seriously and investigate any claims fully. As a teaching staff we vow to build positive relationships with all of our students and to take action if we see an injustice. As a student body we must be accepting of our differences and refrain from harassment, bullying, and bigotry. We will listen to our community and work with them on taking steps to show that not only do we not tolerate racism, we are unwaveringly anti-racist.
Our plan will begin with us. We are seeking comprehensive equity training for our entire staff that includes learning in the areas of cultural proficiency, culturally relevant teaching strategies, and implicit bias. We will implement classroom lessons on tolerance and cultural sensitivity.
We do not condone or excuse any racist act by students or staff. Individuals who engage in these practices are not welcome at Steele Canyon High School. We apologize for pain that was caused in the past and will look to the future for improvement.