The Miamisburg Board of Education is being urged to adopt a zero tolerance policy and start diversity training after what an NAACP leader described as a series of racial incidents at the middle school.
“Swift action” is needed after racial slurs and an assault against an eighth-grade female, who was targeted three times in recent months, said Derrick Foward, president of the Dayton Unit NAACP.
“You’re not born a racist,” he said. “You’re taught to be a racist.”
The student’s mother said her daughter “does deserve to have the respect that she’s entitled to in a place of learning.”
Foward and the girl’s parents were among a handful of people who addressed the school board Thursday night. All of them implored members to adopt a district-wide diversity training program, which Superintendent David Vail said Miamisburg schools does not have.
Miamisburg school board President Dale Toadvine said the issue “will be addressed.” Asked what actions the board may take, Toadvine said he did not “feel comfortable” elaborating until further discussion.
Vail said “the points….made will certainly be taken into consideration.” He said diversity training has occurred with staff on an informal basis, but the district has no formal policy.
Pastor Palmer Jason of the Jubilee Community Church in Miamisburg said he would “assist the board in addressing racial insensitivity” with diversity training.
Jason said the church’s congregation is diverse, and includes students.
“And I’m here to let you know that none of us – including our white congregants – are happy about the incident that was shared with our congregation,” Jason said.
Foward told board members the eighth-grader was twice called a racial slur by another student, then later was assaulted. That prompted her parents to call police.
The students involved were disciplined, Vail said, but he declined to discuss the punishment.
Action was taken, the girl’s mother told the school board, but not swiftly enough. She said her family chose to move into the Miamisburg school district and this ordeal has prompted her to consider options.