Staunton School Board chair on high school name review process

staunton city schoolsWe are proud of our citizens for the decorum and civility they demonstrated on Tuesday as they came together to share their opinions on the name of our high school. We’re also grateful to the community for taking the time to respectfully participate in the listening process led by the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities and hear contrasting points of view about a subject that is deeply emotional for so many.

We encourage all citizens to continue the shining example of civility demonstrated on Tuesday. It is vital that each of us makes every effort to build relationships with our neighbors – and not only with those who look, think and live like us. Let us sincerely listen and learn from one another, demonstrate humility, and, most importantly, empathize. These qualities will only make us stronger as a community.

Our yearlong process will soon culminate in a strategic planning process for diversity and inclusiveness in our school division, and the school board will ultimately decide on the name of the high school. However, that decision won’t occur until we’ve first received and evaluated a report from the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities on their findings. The organization began working with our school division nine months ago and has since collected significant feedback from students, teachers, school staff and Staunton citizens regarding the name of the high school and other matters concerning diversity and inclusivity.

After we receive VCIC’s report in August, we’ll take time to carefully review and evaluate their findings and weigh all the implications of any potential decision, including the economic impact. In the meanwhile, we remain open to your feedback. Please visit www.staunton.k12.va.us/diversity to learn how you can continue to share your comments with us on these important topics.

Bill Lobb is the chair of the Staunton School Board.

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