Confederate Flag Issue at NNHS
Dear North Community,
I write to you to share an update on the work we are doing at North in response to the Confederate flag incident on Tuesday. The incident has elicited strong emotions and reactions from our students and staff and we are working together as an administration and faculty to identify productive and structured outlets for expression and action.
Over the past few days, several faculty members and I have worked with student leadership groups to educate about the impact of this incident, but to also show the strength of the North community. At tonight is football game, led by our football team, we plan to lock arms together to demonstrate that we are one community working together to confront all forms of hatred and harassment. We invite all North community members to join us in this show of unity.
Today during last period, a rally is being organized by several student leadership groups to allow students the opportunity to express their thoughts and share their emotions. While this is a student led event, regularly scheduled classes are taking place. We are working to make sure that the event is safe and structured for all students. Students will be allowed to gather in the cafeteria at that time with staff supervision and no outside guests will be allowed in the building. Additional details about the event are listed at the end of the letter to provide clarity.* I support many of the ideas that are planned to be expressed at the event and will look for additional ways to hold school sponsored events where deeper dialogue and understanding can be supported.
Many teachers have also taken the opportunity to discuss this incident in their classrooms. They have provided historical reference, asked thought-provoking questions, and given students the space they need to process this event. I thank them for their willingness to engage in these discussions and look forward to creating more opportunities for this type of dialogue and learning for all of our students.
It is our intention to offer multiple ways for our community to show the true values we hold in response to this incident and to allow students to share their thoughts and feelings. We also expect that you have had conversations at home with your students as they have shared their experiences from school. Our hope is that together, we can continue our work of creating a North community in which all students feel welcomed, supported, and included.
* Notes for families and students regarding the rally.
- This event is a student planned and led event.
- The administration and student leaders have worked together this morning to ensure that this event is safe and secure.
- Administrators, teachers and plain clothed officers will be in the building to ensure the safety of the event.
- The “N rule” will be enforced for any student skipping class.
- There will be no other sanctions for skipping class, for example student-athletes who participate in this student led activity will be allowed to participate in athletic events this afternoon and weekend.
Henry J. Turner, Ed.D
Newton North High School