The behavior reported in the July 31st MPR story regarding Metcalf Middle School is very troubling, and we take any and all reports of harmful behavior seriously. As a district, we have been and will continue to take action to do what needs to be done to ensure all our students in all our schools feel welcomed and valued.
As part of our commitment, we will be reviewing past investigations and complaints, as well as an investigation of new allegations in the MPR article. We will utilize resources like the NAACP and the Minnesota Department of Human Rights to assist us to resolve concerns. School and district leaders have and will continue to engage in discussions about responding to racial slurs and bias. These discussions include staff, students and families understanding the impact of culturally destructive or racist behavior.
This work – in part encouraged and organized by student leaders – led to an event last year at Burnsville High School called “Speak Up,” which included conversations among students and staff around issues of race to help build understanding, provided ideas for how the school can move forward together to ensure all students feel safe and welcomed, and involved discussions around how to talk about and respond when issues involving race happen in the school community.
The behaviors described in the MPR article are the antithesis of what ONE91 is all about. We are a District that values our diversity, and we expect our students and staff to hold themselves to high expectations and conduct themselves in a manner that creates a welcoming and respectful learning and work environment. We will work with students, parents and staff to make sure that is true for everyone.
We have many reasons to be proud of ONE91’s students and staff. We will continue to improve and we will take on any problems that need to be resolved. I have complete confidence in the ability of our staff, students, families, and partners to work together toward our common goal — the best learning environment possible for our students.
Dr. Theresa Battle