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JCPS to engage community on diversity issues

JCPS to engage community on diversity issues

Public meetings to be scheduled in offensive photo's aftermath

September 22nd, 2017 by Phillip Sitter in Local News

Jefferson City Public Schools Superintendent Larry Linthacum sent a letter to stakeholders Thursday to address efforts the district plans to make to engage the community on issues of race and diversity.

Document: Jefferson City Public Schools Stakeholder Letter

Written by JCPS Superintendent Larry Linthacum

"The recent incident involving three of our high school students outside of the classroom has not only disrupted the learning environment in our schools, but has also disrupted the community," Linthacum wrote, referring to a recent photo posted to social media.

The youths, including the three Jefferson City High School students, posed in the photo showing racially insensitive and other offensive imagery drawn into dust on the trunk of a car behind them.

Their intentions, and whether they drew the imagery including swastikas and a racial slur, is unclear; however, Linthacum wrote, "This incident is just one example shedding light on and confirming we have room to learn and grow both as a school and community."

"We are assessing where we are, and developing plans moving forward in three important areas: demonstrating acceptance and understanding for all; fidelity of implementation of diversity training for all staff; (and) parent and community engagement in the areas of race and diversity," he continued.

While no specific details were shared, Linthacum noted the district "will be facilitating three neighborhood community discussions in October and will invite the community once we have the dates and locations confirmed."