Letter from the Superintendent - October 2018

The following Letter from the Superintendent was sent via CV E-news and posted to our Schoology profile in October 2018.

Dear Cumberland Valley Parents/Guardians:

(Oct. 25, 2018) - I am writing to parents, guardians, staff, and students of the Cumberland Valley School District as I did earlier in the year to bring your attention to the fact that incidents of harassment and unlawful discrimination are happening in our schools, particularly at the secondary level. Feedback directly from students, parents, faculty, and staff indicate that harassment and other forms of discrimination are an ongoing issue. Behavior of this type will not be tolerated.

Any report of harassment or discrimination will be investigated and any individual found in violation of District policy shall be disciplined. For students, violation of policy can result in a range of disciplinary actions up to and including expulsion. In the case of employees, violation of policy can result in a range of disciplinary actions up to and including termination. Volunteers, visitors, or vendors found in violation of policy may be barred from our campuses. These District actions are separate from any actions taken by law enforcement.

It is also important to note that not just the victims of harassment or discrimination should be reporting issues. As per our policy, faculty and staff are also accountable for doing so. In addition, parents, and particularly students, who witness such events can make a confidential report directly to their building principal, school counselor, or our Human Resources Department via the District website – http://www.cvschools.org/nondiscrimination.

We are asking each of you to partner with Cumberland Valley School District to work toward the elimination of all forms of harassment in our schools. Below are five ways you can do so.

• Be sure to understand Cumberland Valley School District policy and the implications of violating policy.
• Have discussions with the children and young adults in your lives. We have found that often our students do not fully understand the impact of their words or their actions, even if they believe they are just trying to be funny and not intending harm. In a forum run by the Department of Justice, CV High School minority students indicated that racial jokes and stereotyping were their single largest concern.
• Faculty, staff, coaches, and volunteers are asked to please address and report any and all inappropriate language or actions. Our High School minority students’ second biggest concern is that they feel issues are not being addressed in our schools or are being “sugar coated.”
• Over the course of the year, faculty, staff, and students are receiving training regarding our new policies and reporting procedures, and the impact/damage that hateful words and actions cause. We encourage faculty, staff, students, and parents to discuss what they are learning. We will be happy to discuss training for community groups as well so that the message in our schools is consistent with the message in the community.
• Bring your individual voice to the table. If you have general concerns (specific concerns should be reported) or positive ideas, please discuss them with your building principal. If you are a student at the High School, please consider joining the SPIRIT Council. If you are a District resident, there are seats, though limited, available on the Diversity Committee. The Committee meets to learn about District initiatives, discuss concerns, propose solutions, and provide feedback to the administration. If you have an interest in a seat on the committee please send an email to [email protected]. Please include your name, address, why you would like to serve on the committee, and any expertise you may bring to the conversation.

With sincere appreciation of your support and cooperation.

Dr. Frederick S. Withum III, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools

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