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An Important Message from the Principal, Dec. 14, 2022

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Gibson Ek High School Families, 

Issaquah School District is committed to the well-being of each and every student.  The well-being of every member of our community depends on a strong community that values relationships, respect and kindness. This email is being sent to all secondary students and their families in the ISD, not because of any incident but based on an increase across the schools that reflect a specific pattern of language being used by students. We want to remind everyone of our ISD Equity mission statement, which says in ISD “We believe that each student has the potential to achieve, and it is our responsibility to provide all students the opportunity and support needed to meet their highest capability in a safe and welcoming environment.”

We are concerned about the number of racially insensitive comments or other slurs being made within our school community. These behaviors do not reflect our values and disrespect our mission to have a safe and welcoming environment for all. This is not a new problem, and we believe that it is long past due for it to be addressed. We receive reports of slurs or hurtful remarks being made as “jokes,” intentional statements or comments toward individuals or groups, and graffiti on our campuses. 

This is simply not okay. It is not who we are. And it’s not who we aspire to be. We can and must do better as a community. 

Students need to know that these types of comments are never okay and how the power of words can uplift or tear down. As a district, we are going to continue to hold students accountable through education and action.  We need our students to understand that using racially charged language or other slurs, no matter the intent, causes real harm. We also need our students to know that they are ultimately the ones who hold the power to create safe and welcoming environments. 

Here are some resources to use as we are seeking your partnership to encourage continued learning. We want all families to dialogue and reflect with your student:

Our students will thrive if we continue to challenge the status quo and never accept these comments. We can do better, and we are asking everyone to take this opportunity to not only recognize that this behavior is happening, but to also act to make meaningful change. We thank you for strengthening our community and helping to ensure every student feels a sense of belonging in our schools.  
Sincerely,

Middle School Administrators 
High School Administrators 
ISD Cabinet 

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