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Superintendent responds to LHS sit-in


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Editor’s note: This is a statement that interim superintendent Anna Stubblefield sent to district staff this morning in response to actions taken since Monday’s sit-in.

During the Back-to-School Kickoff at Lawrence High on August 11,  I challenged all staff to do three things this school year: continue to do small great things for our students and one another every day, model what we ask of our students (leadership, grit, resilience, respect…), and ask ourselves when challenges arise, “What can I do?” I have had several opportunities this school year to try to live up to my own challenge.  I want to take a moment of your time now to provide some information regarding student concerns that led to a peaceful protest at Lawrence High School on Monday.  

Lawrence Public Schools and Lawrence High School share the same goal as the students: ensuring a safe learning environment for all students.  We are listening to student concerns, and as educational leaders, we are focusing on creating additional opportunities for students to learn about respect, understanding, social justice, advocacy and digital citizenship. 

The concerns surrounding discriminatory comments made in the online chat, at school or anywhere else are student, school, district and community concerns. They should be all of our concern. They are not concerns limited to student-athletes. Lawrence High’s administrators and athletics staff did not have all of the specifics about the students’ concerns last Friday. They acted on the information available. When more detail came to light on Monday, they conducted a thorough investigation and took appropriate disciplinary action in accordance with Board of Education Policy.  It is not possible to share with you specifics about student disciplinary matters, because we value and take seriously our responsibility to protect the privacy rights of students. While we do not discuss student discipline publicly, that does not mean that nothing is being done.  

Finally, I would like to ask that each of us remember that we are a learning community that values the open exchange of ideas and appreciates the uniqueness of each student and staff member. Like Lawrence High, we should all be striving to prevent bullying, discrimination and harassment in all forms. Let’s check ourselves. Are we sharing information or opinions without having all of the facts? Are we judging the circumstances and others without direct knowledge of what actually occurred? How do our actions serve our students and our learning community? I appreciate your support of and commitment to our learning community as we work together to continue to improve.

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The School Newspaper of Lawrence High School.
Superintendent responds to LHS sit-in