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Parkway Board of Education Statement

Parkway Board of Education Statement
October 29, 2008

Below is the statement made by Board President Dee Mogerman at the Parkway Board of Education meeting Wednesday, October 29. This is in regard to an incident that occurred last week at Parkway West Middle School. This was read prior to the citizen statement portion of the meeting.

First, I want to say that the entire Parkway School Board has been saddened and angered by this incident. As always, our top concern is for the safety, well-being and protection of all our Parkway students. We have and will continue to work diligently to promote an atmosphere of tolerance and respect in all of our school communities.

Many things have been written and reported about this incident, some of which are accurate and some of which are not. However, what is clear and undisputed is that the children involved were young middle schoolers. They are wounded and embarrassed by what occurred, and in the case of those students who initiated the episode, they are additionally remorseful and apologetic. It has caused a great deal of pain in Parkway and the entire community.

All members of the Parkway Board of Education are very concerned about the impact this has had on our students and on our dedicated professionals throughout the district. Each one of us wants as much as anyone to ensure we continue to do what is right for our students. There are some who say we haven’t done enough, or that surely someone is to blame. However, the overwhelming majority of voices have expressed satisfaction that the administration is handling the matter fairly and appropriately. I am confident we are doing that, and are also taking careful steps to prevent this type of incident from happening again.

Moving forward, we will continue to review the situation in a careful, open and transparent way because we know that we can and will improve. The Hippocratic admonition to “first, do no harm,” applies to our approach, and to all of the students involved, their teachers, parents, families and friends.

Parkway has always been an extraordinarily diverse community of learners whose watchwords are tolerance and mutual respect for other cultures. We are not perfect. We will learn from this episode and we will move forward together and we will become a stronger community.