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June resolutions passed by Board of Ed in June/Sept. 14 Dr. Hoadley Email to Staff Regarding Controversial Issues

June resolutions passed by the Board of Education regarding social justice.

Dublin City School Board has approved policies in place that follow the law and seek to keep our employees from bringing non-school related political, controversial, or policy statements into the school environment. below is an email that went to all school employees reminding them of their responsibilities. In that email, you’ll also find links to the approved Board policies that we continue to enforce.

Hello everyone,

We all know it and feel it – many in our country and even here in Dublin are sharply divided over issues of politics, policy, and culture. Social media amplifies the anger and disconnect. These politically-charged feelings are likely to persist throughout our community going forward, particularly given that this is an election year.  We so much appreciate the efforts of our staff to make all of our students feel welcome this school year.   As we continue into the school year, we want to make sure that your welcoming messages do not get lost in political discourse.  To that end, please keep the following in mind as you consider your significant roles in the education of our Dublin students.

The mission of Dublin City Schools is to provide world class instruction to our students. As educational professionals, it is our responsibility to create an inclusionary philosophy of education promoting equity and access for all students regardless of race, color, religion, ancestry, ethnicity, national origin, gender, disability, economic status, and/or learning styles – we must not share our opinions in attempt to bring about a single conclusion to which all students must subscribe.   As Board Policy 2211 (Multicultural/Inclusionary Education) states, Dublin City Schools will promote inclusion, acceptance, understanding, cooperation, and appreciation of diverse groups of people. That includes people who hold opinions that disagree with ours.

We ask that you please review and reflect on Board Policy 2240 and Administrative Guideline 3231A, addressing staff members’ responsibilities regarding controversial issues and participation in political activities.  As you review these policies, note these important concepts that we specifically call on you to respect and follow:

  • Non School related activities, including political activities, do not contribute to a positive learning climate. Therefore, such activities are not appropriate within the school setting.
  • Unless done as part of an approved teaching unit, staff may not display non school related political or campaign material that supports or opposes candidates, issues, or a particular point of view within the schools or on school-owned or occupied property. This includes, by way of example, posters, buttons, and clothing.
  • All of us are prohibited from engaging in any activities that support or oppose candidates, issues, or a particular point of view during working hours.
  • Controversial issues may be introduced when related to the instructional goals of the course of study and level of maturity of the students.
  • When controversial issues are appropriately introduced, their use should be to encourage open-mindedness and be in a spirit of scholarly inquiry and not to indoctrinate or persuade students to a particular point of view.

Some people might claim that a particular stance or sentiment “isn’t political or controversial” and therefore must be permitted. Another person may claim the opposite. One person’s belief of what is or is not political or controversial is not the standard our District uses to resolve these questions. Rather, we rely on the policies noted above, which have been approved by our elected leaders and address these difficult issues with a sense of nuance and responsibility that is all too often lacking in modern discourse.

Much of the world outside our schools is angry and spoiling for an argument. We want Dublin City Schools to be a haven from that anger, vehemence, and lack of civility. Our goal is to help our students identify important issues, explore fully and fairly all sides of an issue, weigh carefully the values and factors involved, and develop techniques for formulating and evaluating positions, all while respecting one another.  Engaging in this enlightened dialogue is the Dublin Difference.  

Thank you for your diligence during this period of heightened political activity. We appreciate your commitment to our mission. If you have any questions about the policies and guidelines above, please have a conversation with your building principal. 

Yours in the service to children,

Todd F. Hoadley, Ph. D.

Superintendent
Dublin City Schools