June 4, 2020
Dear Wiseburn Families and Friends,
Wiseburn USD is committed to maintaining a strong partnership with our community, and key to that is communication. As such, we want to make the community aware of an incident that was brought to our attention yesterday and that we are continuing to investigate.
Wiseburn USD was informed that a group of students entered a closed school campus. While there, a video was recorded by a member of the group showing a Wiseburn student using a racial slur while in a physical altercation with another person in the group who does not attend Wiseburn. This video was then uploaded to social media. The Wiseburn student who used the racial slur and their family have since been receiving threats of violent retaliation and doxxing.
We are in contact with the Hawthorne Police Department who is actively investigating the underlying conduct and subsequent threats. The District does not condone bigotry, hate speech, or racism, and opposes retaliation towards students. Per our district policy and the California Education Code, we are reviewing the incident to determine appropriate discipline to resolve the situation in line with our commitment to promote equality, equity, inclusion, and anti-racism within our schools and community.
As we respond to the incident, we continue to have a laser focus on ensuring our community is cohesive, accepting, and looks to support our students. We want to set an example for our students of what it means to be welcoming and inclusive, as well as the importance of effectively expressing disapproval of harmful, bigoted, or racist language.
Moving forward, we will continue holding conversations and taking action on these issues. We encourage our community to join us in virtual conversation today from 3 - 4 p.m. with Dr. Alan Green, from the University of Southern California, who is helping answer questions regarding how to speak to our children about the current unrest in our communities. You can join the Zoom webinar via this link or by inputting the meeting ID (957 7319 0453). You will then be prompted for the password (293139).
In the meantime, you can find additional helpful links to educational resources here. Within that link, you will find the links to counseling referral forms for our elementary schools and for Dana Middle School. Our CARE Team is available for your families if you find your student(s) in need of support and counseling.
If families have additional questions or concerns, please reach out to us at email@example.com.
Thank you to each of you for the role you play in making Wiseburn a welcoming, supportive, and loving community.
Blake Silvers, Ed.D., Superintendent of Schools