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Petition to Saranac Lake Central School District

To the editor:

We recognize that this year has been full of challenges and, as a district, you have worked tirelessly to overcome those challenges. As families with children in the district, as well as community members, we appreciate your tremendous support of our students during this pandemic.

Now we are in yet another moment of heightened racial awareness in the United States of America. While we collectively mourn the murders of our Black Americans and navigate the path forward, it is absolutely critical to consider the impact of these traumatic events, and their direct connection to Black American history, on all students of all races. Not only do we need to address the emotional state of students and staff, but also make changes that create real, positive impacts on our students’ lives and collective futures.

We, as concerned families and community members, are calling on the Saranac Lake Central School District to create a new Diversity and Inclusion policy, including how we will work toward making our schools more diverse, how we will ensure a safe learning environment for every student, and how we will provide fact-based D&I training for our educators. We also ask for funding to create a work group whose charge is to attend teacher recruitment fairs outside the area to recruit new minority teachers.

Talking about race can be challenging, but we must turn silence into dialogue. These conversations are not reserved only for students of color but crucial for schools that are predominately white, too.

Cindy Shortell

Vermontville

and 317 signatures on Change.org as of Thursday afternoon, July 2

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