UPDATE: ELK GROVE, Calif. —December 29, 2017—During winter break, school and district officials investigated and met with the parents of the students who created the widely publicized, disturbing and racially intolerant video ultimately posted on social media. Below is the letter from Superintendent Christopher R. Hoffman sent to Elk Grove Unified School District families and staff to provide them with an update.
ELK GROVE, Calif. —December 27, 2017—A concerned Elk Grove community member, followed by numerous concerned community members, reported to school officials that a racially intolerant video allegedly involving two Elk Grove Unified School District (EGUSD) students had surfaced on social media. Due to the disturbing content of the video and subsequent public comment that identified the students as Pleasant Grove High School students, the report was immediately investigated and the families of the students in the video were located and contacted. All reports of bullying, discriminatory, intolerant and/or hateful speech are taken very seriously and school and district officials have been made aware of the situation.
The comments made in the video are not supported by EGUSD in any way. This type of expression is hurtful and risks negative impacts to EGUSD’s educational environment and school community. School officials are currently working with the families and the students who made the video to help them understand the gravity of this situation and the consequences of discriminatory and racially insensitive expression. School officials will continue their investigation into this matter and will also prepare to ensure that social and emotional support will be provided for students when all students and staff return to school from winter break. Furthermore, plans to mitigate any fallout or disruption on campus will be put in place so as to maintain a safe, supportive and productive learning environment.
In our commitment to the core values of a diverse and tolerant democratic society, EGUSD does not condone or tolerate behavior by students, staff, or visitors related to school activity or attendance which insults, degrades, or stereotypes any race, gender, disability, physical characteristics, ethnic group, sexual orientation, age, national origin, or religion. As a highly diverse, multiracial, multiethnic, multilingual school district, we are committed to providing a positive and harmonious environment in which student unity and respect for the diverse makeup of the school community is cherished, promoted and protected. As such, our policies and practices will address situations that threaten any of our schools’ ability to provide positive and harmonious educational environments across EGUSD, characterized by respect, tolerance, sensitivity and care.
The District will also continue to work in partnership with parents to teach civic values, digital citizenship and ethics that focus on honesty, respect, responsibility and morality (understanding and doing what is right, both legally and ethically). The teaching of human dignity, empathy, justice, civility, courage and community (concern for the common good) will continue to be part of everyday lessons
About the Elk Grove Unified School District
The Elk Grove Unified School District (EGUSD) is the fifth-largest school district in California located in southern Sacramento County. EGUSD covers 320 square miles and includes 67 schools: 42 elementary schools, nine middle schools, nine high schools, five alternative education schools, an adult school, one charter school and a virtual academy. Offering a multitude of educational programs, including over 70 career-themed academies and pathways within 15 industry sectors, we prepare our students for college and career by supporting them with the means to be creative problem solvers; self-aware, self-reliant, and self-disciplined; technically literate; effective communicators and collaborators; and engaged in the community as individuals with integrity. We integrate rigorous academics with career-based learning and real world workplace experiences and ensure that Every Student is Learning, in Every Classroom, in Every Subject, Every Day.
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