Beacon Parents for Responsive and Responsible School Leadership
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We, parents of Beacon students, current students, past Beacon families, and concerned community members were very disturbed to learn about the moment of silence on May 15th for those killed during the conflict in Gaza. The moment of silence was problematic for several reasons: First, use of the school public announcement system for political expression is against DOE Chancellor Regulations. The announcement implied a political view that Gazans were innocent and Israel was the perpetrator, in spite of the fact that many news outlets reported that Hamas, a terrorist organization, took credit for instigating the attack. The announcement didn’t allow for students to express differing viewpoints. Second, Beacon administration approved the announcement. Third, there has been no communication from the school administration to parents since the announcement. And last, students who disagreed with the announcement have been ostracized by their classmates, creating an uncomfortable situation within the student body.
We feel strongly that the following corrective measures must take place:
1. Revised procedures for vetting school-wide announcements; only bona fide school-wide urgent announcements should be permitted (e.g., relating to a club or activity).
2. Principal Lacey must address the entire school-wide community to hear ALL parents’ concerns.
3. A statement to the Beacon parent community must be released by the school with an explanation of what exactly took place, that the school takes full responsibility for the announcement, and how the school intends to move forward, in terms of providing a safe environment for students to discuss their reactions and presenting a more fair and open forum to discuss such controversial topics in the future.
We demand that these measures be taken immediately
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