Central Point School District #6

MLK Event Statement

January 12, 2018

District 6 Community:

The Central Point Community MLK celebration last evening included student-­produced material that many members of the audience – especially younger students – found upsetting or offensive. I sincerely regret aspects of the program that could be perceived as inappropriately political, disturbing, or unsuitable for younger students.

District 6 encourages and supports student voice — especially the voices of those who have been marginalized, discriminated against or abused. We also recognize that students may need guidance about where and how that message is communicated to be most effective, and last evening was a missed opportunity to do so. An event that was billed as a “community celebration of MLK” was not the place for explicit and disturbing material. Further, I’m concerned that the tone and some of the material could be construed as more divisive than uniting — the opposite of Dr. King’s message.

In the future, every effort will be made to assure that material presented at community or school events be reviewed by an administrator prior to public performance.  Further, school staff will provide specific information about content in performances that may be unsuitable for younger students and communicate that information to parents and audience members prior to the performance.  Finally, our concerns about the event and meeting these expectations have been communicated with staff involved.

I very much appreciate the feedback we received from parents and community about this event. District 6 remains committed to providing an educational experience that is safe, thoughtful and supportive of ALL students.

Sincerely,

Samantha Steele

Superintendent