Dear Silverton High School Families,
We have recently learned of comments that have been/are being made around the school and the community that are racist or otherwise marginalizing by nature. Some of these comments are mimicking current slang terms found in mainstream pop culture, some are via social media, all are hurtful. As a response to these reports, we held focus groups with Silverton High School students in an effort to understand students’ experiences and how they impact their school day. What we learned was that, regardless of intention, these comments are having an impact on the school day of students at Silverton High School. The information that was collected through these focus groups is what motivates this open letter to our student body and families of the Silverton High School educational community.
To begin, it needs to be stated that Silverton High School is committed to maintaining a safe and welcoming environment for every person that enters the school. Every student is due a learning environment that is comfortable and free of any disparaging comments, harassment, bullying, or the fear or expectation of any of these things. Likewise, any visitor to our building should be made to feel safe and welcome as well. It is our responsibility to make sure that Silverton High School remains an inclusive environment for all students and visitors
In our efforts to maintain such an environment, and in accordance with school and board policy, administrators, teachers and support staff at Silverton High School will take action on any statement, expression or conduct that is racist, sexist, harassing, menacing, bullying, cyberbullying or intimidating in nature. It is also the responsibility of the school to take action on conduct (social media or otherwise) that takes place outside of school but has, or is likely to have, an impact on students at school.
There are certain terms and language that are never acceptable in a school setting, even if these terms or language have found their way into mainstream pop-culture. We ask that you have this conversation with your student(s) as their expression at school will lead to school consequences regardless of the intent. Furthermore, we ask that you talk to your student about reporting any language relative to harassment, bullying, marginalization, intimidation, etc. that is heard on campus, on the bus, over social media or otherwise in order so that the school can investigate and respond if/when appropriate.
Thank you for your support and assistance in helping keep Silverton High School a safe and welcoming environment for every student, staff member and visitor to the school.