The Gahanna-Jefferson Public School District sent an apology to district families in correspondence late Tuesday, Jan. 14, after an incident at Middle School South, 349 Shady Spring Drive, on Jan. 13.
“During a lesson on the 1963 church bombing in Birmingham, Alabama, students read a passage with inappropriate racial language,” Superintendent Steve Barrett wrote in a letter to G-J families. “As a district committed to diversity and inclusiveness, the language in this document doesn’t reflect our values and is offensive to all of us.”
Barrett said the district deeply regrets that incident occurred in one of South’s classrooms, and he apologized to anyone who is upset or offended.
“While we believe it’s important to educate students about history, injustice and racism, it should be done with sensitivity and consideration of how students might feel when they hear or read certain words,” he said. “We place equal importance on the proper review and vetting of content for its appropriateness, and it appears that this wasn’t adequately done in this situation.”
Barrett said the district would continue to review what had occurred and put steps in place to avoid recurrence.
“Our district values and celebrates the diversity of our community and embraces opportunities for learning that encourage respect and understanding for all people,” he said.