March 30, 2017
AUSD Parents, Staff, Students, & Community,
Today students at Albany High School peacefully demonstrated their solidarity against intolerance, racism, and hatred. Also on campus today, the students involved in an incident that occurred last week participated in a restorative justice process. What was made clear from these separate but related actions is that the student body stands together in its message that our school stands for inclusion. To any questions concerning consequences for the students whose online conduct prompted these events, our district administration and legal counsel are closely examining all available options. Beyond that, I can offer no other comment at this time, as I must not only protect the fidelity of the process but also strictly observe all legal protocols and timelines so that the district can take swift and appropriate action.
Today, there was a student sit-in. I want to assure our community that the students' voices are heard. They exercised their right to gather, speak their minds and share their concerns. They were respectful throughout the day.
Our district has two clear calls to action. First, the incident that triggered this movement is being taken very seriously. To see that justice is done, we must follow the law. Second, I can see that what began as an intolerable social media incident has cast a spotlight on concerns about racism and intolerance on campus.
Now is the time for our district to begin the healing process. We are taking an honest look at the policies, practices and expectations that will underscore our commitment to safe and welcoming schools for all.
We are scheduling a Board meeting for where we will be discussing these policies.
I was informed that there were altercations when students were exiting campus. We are gathering information and will conduct an investigation.
We want all Albany High School families to know that the school is on the a bell schedule and the Freshman debates will continue as planned.
Val Williams, Superintendent