Link to Education Week article by Jared Hautamaki here.
The interim superintendent of the Montgomery County district responded to me. He said that in a large, diverse school district, not everyone is going to like what they see. He said that given the system’s values of equity and respect and students’ right of free expression, district officials would continue to monitor the impact and respond to the issue by benchmarking their actions against those of other Washington-area school districts. He hoped I would continue to collaborate with my son’s principal and still be “respectful and kind.” He didn’t address the academic research that I had shared. He didn’t address the comments of the district spokesman, who said the board addresses complaints like mine on a school-by-school basis. He didn’t address the dress code. He didn’t address the offensiveness of the name. But, he also didn’t use the name itself.
In the Washington region, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the U.S. Department of the Interior, the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, the Indian Health Service, tribal lobby offices, and tribal law firms all employ a steady number of Native Americans who leave their tribal homes and uproot their families to serve their communities and their two nations—their tribe and the United States government. Native American student enrollment in the Montgomery County schools is around 280 students. The fact that we are a minority among minorities in the region is not an excuse for ignoring our children’s rights to an education environment free of racist imagery and discrimination.