“We will continue to do the work necessary in the area of diversity, equity and inclusion. We are dedicated to starting this dialogue … to make sure we honor our commitment to maintain an inclusive school environment,” said Grant.
Middletown NAACP President Celeste Didlick-Davis told the board “we are concerned” beyond the single video incident and also “about some other implicit bias and systemic racism (and) incidents which have been brought to our attention over several years.”
But, said Didlick-Davis, “we are here to offer our assistance – we have cultural competency training.”
The Middletown NAACP chapter also covers the adjacent city of Monroe and other parts of Butler County.
“I have reached out to the superintendent about how we may be of assistance,” she told the board.
Last week Monroe Superintendent Kathy Demers sent a notice to school parents stating: “When high school administrators became aware of the video, an investigation began immediately.”
“Although we cannot disclose what disciplinary actions are being taken, please know we will not tolerate these inappropriate behaviors and actions in our schools,” said Demers.
The NAACP is looking to help “in a positive way so that this community, as well as our larger communities, can move forward,” said Didlick-Davis, who was thanked by the board for her offer.
Grant said, “please know that we are listening and that your comments will assist us in taking the next steps as a district – and a board – to address these issues.”
Later Demers said of Didlick-Davis’ invite of help: “Our team appreciates the offer from the Rev. Dr. Davis to assist Monroe Local Schools in the area of diversity, equity, and inclusion.”
“We plan to meet with her soon to learn more about the training and resources available. Our team looks forward to working with our staff, students and parents to listen, learn, and uplift all voices in this dialogue,” said Demers.
Staff Photographer Nick Graham contributed to this story.