Parent Group at Meridian writes open letter to School administrators
Here is the Full Letter released to the Meridian School Administration and the Board on Wednesday signed by over 100 parents of the Meridian Parent Coalition:
June 22, 2021
Meridian Public School District Board of Directors, Dr. Everett and Mr. Harvill,
Thank you for the time and effort you have put into the Meridian School District. All of you play a huge role in the community, and we appreciate that what you do is challenging. With this in mind, we, the Meridian Parent Coalition, a group of concerned community members, parents, Meridian School District staff and Alumni, have concerns that need to be addressed.
We understand that decisions have not been reached on the sex education curriculum or the teaching of Critical Race Theory in the classroom. We are asking for the Board of Directors to work with us to find curriculum that is deemed age appropriate and in alignment with our values. We, the Meridian Parent Coalition, believe ALL children should be treated with dignity and respect. We also believe that families have the primary responsibility and ability to teach and influence our children the core values we hold true. We are requesting Transparency, Communication and Accountability. We acknowledge that we have placed our children in your care for an education that aims to enhance a learner’s basic age-appropriate skills and prepare graduates for lifelong learning and employment. We are committed to a district that is free of divisive teaching and ideology influence.
Based on current conditions in the district regarding perceived lack of transparency, communication and accountability, the Meridian Parent Coalition was created. Potential curriculum regarding subject matter of perceived explicit Sexual Education and teachings of Critical Race Theory (CRT) is not in alignment with age-appropriate skills or our values. This curriculum crosses social, political, and emotional boundaries.
Will our district focus on history or race, an indoctrination of ideology and philosophy created for added hate and oppression by introducing CRT? If our desired outcome is equality and equity then we would like input into how that desired outcome is achieved rather than teaching that every action a student does is based on their race. The idea that their victories, defeats, opportunities, and roadblocks are all based on the color of their skin and perceived race fall under the ideology and indoctrination of CRT. CRT curriculum that displays law enforcement negatively and displays Black Americans as angry does nothing to promote unity.
COMMUNICATION: We respectfully ask for open communication with our Meridian Parent
Coalition regarding curriculum review, input on improvement tools for clear and consistent communication regarding sensitive matters such as curriculum, facility changes with impact pertaining to gender identity. When public committees are created, members of our coalition should be invited to attend. We also ask to be notified when classic reading materials are removed from our library or potentially controversial materials are added.
Standardizing our classroom practices including remaining within curriculum syllabus and accountability for teachers who go “off syllabus” and interject their own values in sensitive areas of patriotism – Pledge of Allegiance, vaccination, abortion, faith, law enforcement and gender identity.
We have a breakdown in parent concerns and administration responsiveness in areas of teacher performance in the classroom with focuses on their own values and ideologies and perceived hostile environments for the children who may think in opposing ways. These opinions being brought into the classroom without a position of neutrality do not make these classrooms safe for ALL children, a mission the district has pushed for. Students should be able to share their beliefs, whatever they may be without fear of public humiliation in front of their peers from their teachers.
We understand that decisions have not been reached on the sex education curriculum or the teaching of Critical Race Theory in the classroom. We are asking for the Board of Directors to work with us to find curriculum that is deemed age appropriate and in alignment with our values.
In conclusion: As you can see, there are many issues that must be addressed. We are requesting the following:
- A committee be formed that includes board members, parents, teachers and administrators for curriculum.
- Inclusion in curriculum reviews, decision making and adoption.
- Accountability for teachers who are not creating a safe environment for all students to be able to critically think and express their opinions in accordance with Teacher Evaluation Criteria and Descriptors, Criterion 5: Fostering and Managing a Safe, Positive Learning Environment.
Meridian School District is an important part of our community and it is valued for its community feel and strong community support. Please listen to your community and work with us to accomplish what is best for our children.
Thank you for your time. We look forward to your timely response.
Meridian Parent Coalition