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    Important Message from the Principal
    Posted on 01/28/2019

    Message from the Principal Regarding January Edition of The Roosevelt News

    Dear Roosevelt School Community, Staff, Students and Alumni:

    January’s edition of The Roosevelt News and its student-designed cover art (volume 95, Issue 4) resulted in numerous responses, many of anger, over the perpetuation of racial bias and stereotypes. Thank you to the many parents and community members who have reached out to me directly to share your rightful concerns.

    I want you to know that I share your feelings of frustration and dismay and I am committed to working with our students, staff, and community to learn from this incident. We must all actively take an anti-racist stance in every aspect of public education, including the student newspaper.

    I also want to remind our broader community that high school students are not adults. They are learning and developing. One job of Roosevelt staff is to guide publication of the newspaper. In this case, staff failed to identify imagery that is harmful and hurtful. In turn, we failed our students. We must help them critically examine the cover art using an anti-racist lens – that did not happen, and that is on us as the adults.

    As Principal, I am committed to ensuring that every student at Roosevelt thrives. I am committed to addressing historical and current barriers to student success - specifically for students of color. At this time, I am keenly aware that there are perceptions throughout our city as well as school data that tells us that this is not happening with fidelity across the board at Roosevelt High School. This means that as educational leaders and educators, we must continue our own professional growth and we must be intentional in our racial equity work. In response to this incident, Roosevelt staff will take the following immediate action:

    • All staff will participate in continued training on bias and stereotype awareness. We will work in partnership with the SPS Department of Racial Equity and Advancement to create and implement a professional growth plan for Roosevelt staff.
    • We will audit student newspaper review protocols and tighten internal controls, especially around anti-racist frameworks.
    • We will engage with the Black Student Union (BSU) other cultural clubs to help facilitate a plan for reconciliation and healing among students and the community.

    As a school, we have been working hard to improve the culture of Roosevelt and create identity safe spaces for students and staff. For example, the Black Student Union has led community workshops on many racial equity themes including how to address microaggressions at our school. This incident demonstrates that we must continue to make this work our highest priority. For me, as the Principal of Roosevelt HS, and also an alumna of this school, this situation is fraught with discomfort and raw emotion. I am deeply committed to racial equity and social justice learning at Roosevelt. I look forward to partnering with our students, parents, and staff to become the school that all our students deserve.

    If you have questions you may contact me directly at karodgers@seattleschools.org.

    Respectfully,
    Kristina Anderson Rodgers, Principal

    Message from The Roosevelt News Editors

    As a staff, we stand with every member of the Roosevelt community. It is never our intent to marginalize, demean, or misrepresent any student, staff, or community member. But we own our actions and understand that good intentions are not enough. We strive to reflect our community as a school, as well as the world as a whole.

    We recognize and regret the negative impact that we have produced with our recent cover and that its connection to the featured articles missed the mark. We are working to further address this in our upcoming publications.

    Please continue to communicate your comments and concerns with us at therooseveltnews@gmail.com so that we can feature your voices or utilize your perspective in how we address this.