D51 sends letter to families addressing racism

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KJCT) Over the past week, there have been marches and protests here in the Grand Valley in wake of the death of George Floyd. District 51 wants to do more than be part of the conversation.

Superintendent, Dr. Diana Sirko and the board has taken upon themselves to sent a letter to all District 51 staff members and families addressing racism in schools.

"We want to make sure that our people understand that we see this as call for action. Making sure that our values and structures promote respect and dignity of our student and families,” says Dr. Sirko

"You treat people the way you want to be treated and the way you’d want your own children to be treated.”

But not everyone follows the golden rule. I spoke with a mother, who didn’t want to be on camera, of two biracial children, ages 10 and 19 who’ve experienced racism. Her son threatened to commit suicide at school

"He said it was because he has brown eyes and brown skin. He said a little white boy walked up to him on the playground and said he didn’t want to be his friend anymore because all black people are salves. There was no real repercussions for this little boys discriminating against my son,” says the parent.

This incident led to physical altercations with kids calling him names.

“To tell my son that it’s more dangerous for him to protect himself against someone hurting him because of what he looks like, is disgusting.”

And her daughter had incidents of her own.

"She’s had people cut on her hair. They touch her without asking.”

This mother tells me she wants a zero tolerance policy on discrimination—begging the questing, are District 51’s policies strong enough?

"We have policies and procedures but what we’re seeing is you have to move beyond talk and make sure your actions match those messages.”
Parent “i think some of the people involved have handled it pretty well but sometimes i think it is a little shrugged off,” Dr. Sirko.

The parent says her son is doing better but want to see more changes in the fall when school starts.

The superintendent says if you see something, say something.