MRH superintendent responds to Stockley decision

In a statement to the Maplewood Richmond Heights community district superintendent, Karen Hall, says the MRH high school students have safe opportunities to talk through things such as race relations, following the State vs. Stockley case decision on Friday.

Citing safety, she also said the day’s soccer and volleyball games were being canceled.

Hall’s statement:

Once again, we find ourselves a region divided.

With images of Ferguson still fresh in our minds, it is supremely important that we not allow today’s new tension and anxiety to overwhelm any among us, especially the youngsters whom we are charged with nurturing and protecting. The mission of the Maplewood Richmond Heights School District has never been more vital than it is today: to inspire and prepare students as leaders, scholars, stewards and citizens for a diverse and changing world. Diversity and change are at the very heart of the tumult happening around us today.

In response, I want to remind our families that the MRH learning environment is one in which every student must feel as if he or she is in a safe space, with instructors who are not only prepared but eager to help them process the turbulence they’re encountering.  As developmentally appropriate, students of MRH may take advantage of constructive spaces to talk it out, without being talked down to.

At MRH High School, the Student Group on Race Relations (formed after the events in Ferguson in 2014) still meets regularly. This week, that racially diverse panel had a powerful discussion on the State vs. Stockley case, with the goal of gaining a broader understanding of why justice and equity can have so many definitions for so many people.

Internally, our teachers and staff are taking great care to not conduct adult conversations on the matter in front of students. And as you would expect, they are mindful of respecting one another’s opinions.

Be assured, district administration is closely monitoring events of the day and will continue to do so during the weekend.  Nothing is more important than the safety and well-being of our students. Toward that end, we have taken the precaution of postponing this afternoon’s soccer and volleyball games.

As we have so many times before, we will weather this storm with the same type of proactive and unequivocal approach which our community family has come to expect from MRH.

Thank you, Supt. Karen I. Hall

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