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  • Writer's picturezsheram

Response from Superintendent Rivera

Dr. Grant Rivera swiftly responded to my email. We spoke on the phone for over half an hour. The main points are summarized in a copy of a FB post of mine pasted below:

"Today I spoke with superintendent Dr. Grant Rivera about recent posts by MHS students. They were vile and racist. And one of the children is the son of a school board member. I first emailed the superintendent expressing my concern and requesting information about how the school board plans to take action to prevent further incidents and create a safe space for children of color in our school system.

Dr. Rivera's concern seemed genuine and he took over thirty minutes to not only share with me his plans and feelings but also to hear mine.

My original email was to the entire school board. I made sure to let them know I would relay their responses or lack thereof to my friends, family, and followers on social media. As a result, I've heard responses from all but the offending student's mother. As all but one responder has replied with consideration I will summarize the main points of my conversation with Rivera, rather than posting the individual responses. I'm waiting to see how the sole inconsiderate response replies to my follow up before posting her response.

The main points are:

1) Dr. Rivera plans to make a public statement, not only denouncing such racism and supporting black students but giving a plan of action to ensure change.

2) Marietta City Schools has hired a consulting company for cultural fluency training in December 2019 and started training in January 2020.

3) They have been working with the MPD to change the role of the police in our schools. He told me they wanted to change the uniform and only have them "police" when there was an actual crime. When I said that I'd suggest they not have a weapon on hand at all times either, and using the school counselors instead in the instances of unarmed crime, he agreed and said he would push for it.

I wanted to let those who follow me know this. Not only to show that your voice can affect change but to let y'all know what has been said. This way we can hold it up to what is done.

Edit: The school board member whose son was one of the offending students has responded. She apologized, accepted responsibility, and wanted me to know that his words were not in line with their family's values. She seems afraid that her son won't be allowed to make amends, as a mother would be, but her concern seems primarily to make him a better person."

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