Dear Friends and Families,
The IASD Board of Directors would like to take a moment to reach out to our community regarding the recent protests including those conducted in downtown Indiana. We thank students Rebeca Niel and Amara Moore who were courageous enough to create a forum for students and others in the community to voice their concerns in a positive manner and call for change. Their work is an excellent example of civic engagement and patriotism at the highest level. Their actions were consistent with the ideals of the Constitution of the United States and the rights that document affords. We stand with them in the fight for social and racial justice. We are proud to support our students and community members.
The IASD Board mourns the death of George Floyd and so many others who have been victims of senseless brutality. Our hearts break for their families, friends, and communities. Our hearts break for our country. Black Lives Matter, and we are proud to support our students and community members who are doing their part to call attention to this enduring problem that plagues our nation. Our hearts break for our students and so many others impacted by racism and hatred.
Please know that the IASD Board of Directors will continuously strive to improve as we go forward in our work as there is much to do to address systemic inequities that students face in today’s society and in our schools. 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.
As a Board, we need to be vigilant, swift, and consistent in dealing with prejudice in any form, especially those racially motivated. We need to do our best to ensure that all of our students and staff are treated fairly and equally. We need to continuously examine and review our policies and practices to ensure that we are doing everything we can to provide all students with equal access to opportunities. This includes educating ourselves, our administrators, and staff about implicit bias, cultural knowledge, anti-racism, and providing equity training at all levels of our organization.
As we support our black students, colleagues, and community members, we are working with the administration to build on the caring, and compassionate learning communities in our schools to foster a school community that is free from hate, bigotry, and racism. As a District, we have started to address systemic inequities by having our administration being trained in restorative practices, working with the Mid-Atlantic Equity Consortium and Pennsylvania School Board Association on the topic of equity, and making sure it is a value at the heart of the district, informing every decision, embedded into every facet of our organization. Additionally, we were pleased to see that Chief Shawl of the Borough Police is also taking the necessary steps to get his team trained and equipped to examine their policies and procedures as well. Specifically, their partnership with cultural anthropologist Dr. Abigail Adams, who has been leading their internal discussion on cultural competencies, inclusion, social justice, and diversity. It starts with education and kindness. These are conversations that we all need to have and then follow it up with appropriate, diligent, and consistent action. We cannot ignore this issue or any issue that affect people of color. Instead, we must be deliberate in doing all that we can to make sure they have the same equitable opportunities for life as anyone else in this country.
We envision a school community where the needs of all of our students are met and differences are celebrated. One where support for our students is evident every day because that is who we are and what we stand for. We stand by our commitment to diversity and justice. Racism, hatred, bigotry, and prejudice have no place in the IASD school community. As a Board, we pledge to hold ourselves to a high standard in meeting these equity goals. We acknowledge that we may stumble, but we will continue on this path all the same, resolute in our mission.
We must all do our part. We, the IASD Board of Directors, stand with our students and our community in combating racism in all its forms to ensure each of our students has the opportunity to fulfill their hopes and dreams.
IASD Board of Directors