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A message from Superintendent Marguerite Vanden Wyngaard, Ph.D.

April 2013

 

District re-affirms commitment to diversity training for students and staff

City School District of Albany Superintendent Marguerite Vanden Wyngaard, Ph.D., issued the following statement April 12 in regard to a persuasive essay assignment some students at Albany High School received during the week. Dr. Vanden Wyngaard joined representatives from the Jewish Federation of Northeastern New York and the Anti-Defamation League for a news conference to address what she described as “an unacceptable error in judgment.”

 

“This assignment for some of our students at Albany High School was completely unacceptable. It displayed a level of insensitivity that we absolutely will not tolerate in our school community. I am deeply apologetic to all of our students, all of our families and the entire community.

 

“The City School District of Albany is a richly diverse learning community, with students and families from a multitude of backgrounds and faiths. We value our diversity very deeply. We celebrate that diversity. Our staff and students work actively against prejudice and intolerance in all of its forms, through initiatives such as the National Coalition Building Institute and Dignity for All Students programs.

                     

“As a former diversity trainer, I have helped students and staff in many communities work through questions of difference – such as race, ethnicity and religious background. That includes working as a World of Difference trainer during my time in Ohio.

 

"It was exactly these situations that would cause us to pause and plan for a more in-depth opportunity to look at how we design and deliver lessons that honor those various backgrounds. In that regard, and as a result of this misjudgment, we will re-dedicate ourselves at Albany High School and throughout our school district to ensuring that we actively work against prejudice in all forms.

 

“We already had been in conversations with the Anti-Defamation League this week about future training programs for students and staff. I assure you that we will follow through on that commitment before this school year concludes.

 

"Again, I want to apologize to our entire community for this unacceptable error in judgment by one member of our staff."

 

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