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A Media Statement Regarding Sarasota County Schools and NAACP Partner to Address Social Justice Issues – April 30, 2018

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Students from Riverview High School met with civic leaders and school district administrators today to talk about race and other social justice issues. This closed forum was an opportunity for students to talk freely in a safe environment about topics that are important to them. District leaders will use the information shared during today’s meeting to develop additional conversations on the topic of race relations and other matters to be rolled-out in schools across the county. 

According to students in attendance, they are hopeful – hopeful and encouraged that the school district is providing an opportunity for them to share their concerns with other students in an open forum and that positive change will take place in Sarasota County schools. Each student’s experience was different, but many have experienced prejudice at some point in their lives, and they are glad the school district will be addressing these issues in a thoughtful manner. 

Civic leaders in attendance included representatives from the Sarasota chapter of the NAACP, including Trevor Harvey, Ed James and Dr. Lawrence Miller who were instrumental in facilitating today’s conversation.

Today’s meeting was in response to last week’s racially inappropriate post on social media from a Riverview student. Earlier last week, Superintendent Todd Bowden noted in a message to all parents, students and school district staff that this post was extremely insensitive and sentiments about race such as the one in the post have no place in Sarasota schools or our community. He also said that racism in any form is unacceptable and that the school district takes the issue of racial inequality very seriously.

The school district will continue to update students, parents and staff on this important initiative as it is shaped and defined by students, school district administrators and civic leaders. 

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Communications and Community Relations
Tracey Beeker, Director
tracey.beeker@sarasotacountyschools.net

Kelsey Whealy, Media Relations Specialist
kelsey.whealy@sarasotacountyschools.net

Caroline Lee, Administrative Assistant;
Public Records Custodian, Peachjar eflyers    
caroline.lee@sarasotacountyschools.net 

Digital Communications
Mina Ajrab, Manager
mina.ajrab@sarasotacountyschools.net

Torie Ewald, Social Media Strategist
torie.ewald@sarasotacountyschools.net

Katy Ellis, Social Media Producer
kathryn.ellis@sarasotacountyschools.net

Phone: 941-927-4009 or
941-927-9000 ext. 74009
Fax: 941-927-2539
1960 Landings Boulevard
Sarasota, Florida 34231
Green 3rd Floor

Education Channel 20/33
John Flowerree, Manager
john.flowerree@sarasotacountyschools.net

Stephen Pannone, Engineer
stephen.pannone@sarasotacountyschools.net

Phone: 941-361-6355
Fax: 941-361-6358
4748 Beneva Road
Sarasota, Florida 34233

Community Involvement
Lyndsey Cantees, Coordinator  
lyndsey.cantees@sarasotacountyschools.net

Jennifer Anderson, Administrative Assistant
CommunityInvolvement@sarasotacountyschools.net
Phone: 941-927-9000, ext. 31500
Fax: 941-361-6539
Green 1st Floor

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