Our voices have been heard.
On Thursday I received a call from Spartanburg District 7. We spoke for quite some time, and I will say after the conversation I am satisfied the district has the best interests of our children at heart. The episode seems to be a case of poor oversight and confusing communication that, when combined with such a sensitive topic, created a recipe for a very messy situation. But the conversation satisfied my questions. Let me explain.
The basis for our petition and creation of the website was one of questioning intent and context of the messages sent to teachers in the district. Teachers were confused by the emails, and naturally as parents the emails seem very confusing. Understanding context can be difficult in email, so I get it. But clearly this was not an issue to be vague about. Here’s some highlights of our conversation.
- The Office of Diversity & Inclusion regularly sends a monthly mixed bag of information, so the fact LGBTQ+ information was included with Black History Month materials was not meant to be relational. They were strung together in one sentence in the initial email, but I was assured the two were not related.
- The monthly email contains some things for use in the classroom, and some things that are just for teachers. These other topics are there to help equip teachers with information that may help them deal with students on a variety of issues. The district assured me it was not for classroom use and I feel satisfied this is the case moving forward as well. I was also assured there will be measures in the future to communicate more clearly with the teachers, so that’s good as well.
- Mr. Stevens’ email was meant to apologize to the teachers and clear up the confusion on lack of context in the initial email from the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, that those materials were for teachers only. I do sympathize with Mr. Stevens and the district on this. The topic is a sensitive one to address, and I believe the entire misadventure will lead to better communication moving forward.
- Had the materials been vetted they most likely would not have been distributed. And I was assured the process for reviewing materials would be improved.
Ultimately, the discussion satisfied my fears and questions and I appreciate them being open to me about what happened. We love District 7, these are the schools we chose for our children! So please share with the other concerned parents and let them know District 7 does have our children’s best interest and focus on learning at heart.
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