City and school leaders are standing behind equity work after a video critical of District 112 surfaced on the internet, garnering over 50,000 views on YouTube.
The Alpha News video, titled “Eastern Carver County Schools Exposed,” was posted Sept. 16 and questions school equity efforts and those leading the work.
The video comes after a series of racial incidents in Chaska schools that resulted in national coverage. Recently, a lawsuit was filed against District 112, alleging it failed to adequately address racism against students.
In August, the district’s equity audit revealed students of color and low socioeconomic status statistically achieve below their white peers.
The district released a statement refuting allegations made in the video.
“Think about it: if a student is struggling with reading, their teacher will provide extra supports for them to help them get where they need to be. That’s equity. This work is not about certain students learning or benefiting at the cost of others, rather it is about making sure all of our students — each and every one — can thrive within our classrooms and beyond,” stated the district.
Alpha News did not respond to an email for comment on this story.
At its Sept. 26 meeting, the Chaska Human Rights Commission grappled with approving a statement addressing racism and an upcoming school referendum. Celi Haga, school district director of communications, also serves on the commission.
“I think I agree with the other commissioners that have spoken that we don’t want to conflagrate the two issues, we want to keep them separate,” said Commissioner Darryl Scarborough.
Commissioners later submitted a letter to the editor to the Chaska Herald.
“Hatred, bigotry, discrimination, racism, and fear-mongering have no place in our community,” stated a letter written by Jennifer Welvaert, on behalf of the commission.
The Chaska Human Rights Commission, with support from the city of Chaska and District 112, will show the three-part “Race: The Power of an Illusion” at the Chaska Community Center, beginning 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 10.
CITY OF CHASKA
City of Chaska leaders hope dialogue about equity will continue.
There will be two events through nonprofit “Marnita’s Table” for community dialogue around meals. The first event will be Dec. 3, although the time and location have not been set, according to a report by City Administrator Matt Podhradsky.
City staff are also going through training through the Diversity Institute.