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Message From Dr. Spray
Message From Dr. Spray
Venter, John
Friday, June 05, 2020

Clark-Pleasant Staff and Community:

As the Superintendent of Clark-Pleasant, I hold the responsibility of being transparent regarding our school corporation's visions and goals. It is important that I communicate the condemnation of racism and bigotry in any form. The recent killing of George Floyd is the latest of too many examples of the brutal treatment of our Black community and our friends of color. As a country we have tolerated, wrestled, and many times ignored these issues for far too long. The events in Minneapolis are yet another reminder of the need for all of us to acknowledge systemic racism in our country. As a white, middle-aged male in our country, I acknowledge that I have led a life of privilege because I have NEVER had to worry about being treated differently or “less-than” because of my skin color or gender. I don't have simple solutions for addressing systemic racism. However, I can and will commit to seeking knowledge, asking questions, and serving our community as we learn and grow together.

Our primary purposes in schools are to keep students safe and to educate our children so they may become outstanding citizens and leaders in our communities. We cannot do this by ignoring our history or neglecting to have difficult conversations about the deeply-rooted racial divide in our country. Although Clark-Pleasant has a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee and has taken steps to educate staff and support students, we have not yet engaged in the critical conversations needed to foster an end to bigotry and racism.

Beginning in July we will initiate intentional conversations in order to educate ourselves and our community about what it means to truly be an Antiracist organization. During these sessions, we will take input and listen to the voices of our staff, students, parents, and community members. These are difficult topics to unwrap, but I am confident that a new culture will emerge that accepts everyone and advocates for all to be treated equitably-- no matter their color, race, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, ability, gender identity, or religion.

What can you do to prepare for these conversations? Below are a few links to books and other resources you may want to read and share. The first book, Stamped, is highly recommended and will be purchased for our School Board, administrative team, and history departments. I encourage reading, learning, asking questions, and talking to your children about how you’re learning and growing.

Stamped, Jason Reynolds

How to Be An Anti-Racist, Ibram Kendi

White Fragility, Robin Diangelo

Antiracist Research and Policy Center

AntiRacist Baby, Ibram Kendi (coming out soon)

These books are also available at public libraries, independent booksellers, and some copies may be checked out in the Clark-Pleasant Administration Offices.

This journey is an important one and it will be a permanent, ongoing, and evolving effort to combat systemic racism and inequity in our society and within school organizations such as Clark-Pleasant.



Patrick Spray