Saturday, January 18, 2020

Franklin Public Schools: Superintendent Ahern provides update on FHS video incident

January 17, 2020

Dear Franklin Community,

I want to take this opportunity to update you on the investigation and action steps stemming from the offensive video that circulated among high school students last week. I want to restate that we condemn such statements; they violate our District’s core value of inclusivity and negatively impact the safe and welcoming environment we have committed to provide for each student, family, and our faculty/staff.

As noted in the January 10 communication, the administration promptly initiated an investigation based on our protocol of responding to incidents of hate and bias. Privacy laws restrict the extent to which we can share additional information, however we wish to assure you that appropriate remedial measures have been taken.

This incident has had a significant impact on the FHS community and we are taking steps to address this. Earlier today, High School Principal Paul Peri and Deputy Principal Bill Klements addressed the student body to emphasize and reinforce our core value of inclusivity and to discuss cultural proficiency and the appropriate use of social media. The high school administrators will be enlisting support from outside resources, while also working with the World of Difference student leaders, student government leaders, student club leaders and advisors, and other interested students and faculty members in the coming weeks to develop and implement educational opportunities about cultural proficiency and appropriate use of social media for the school.

I also wish to share the District’s continued work towards improving our school community and addressing offensive speech that violates our core values:
● Cultural proficiency is a theme across all four district and school goals in our Improvement Plans.
● We regularly review our policies, practices, curriculum, and resources for bias.
● We provide professional development to faculty and staff.
● The World of Difference program, which utilizes trained student leaders to implement an anti-bias curriculum, is instituted in our middle and high schools.
● Student meetings are held to prevent discrimination and harassment. Consequences for such inappropriate behavior are part of our school code of conduct.
● Numerous clubs and extracurricular activities focus on inclusion including but not limited to the Diversity Club, SAGA, the International Club, Unified Sports, and Best Buddies.
● The Wellness curriculum includes instruction on appropriate social interaction through social media.
● We have provided social media education for parents/guardians and their children.

The District is committed to continued review of our policies and practices related to cultural proficiency and appropriate use of social media.

We continue to remain optimistic based in part on the large number of students, staff, and community members who came forward to share their concerns and desire for a more inclusive and welcoming environment. We look forward to building upon this energy in the future.


Sara E. Ahern, Ed.D. Superintendent of Schools

This is an abridged version of a more detailed letter sent to high school families.

In case you missed the earlier notification

For more info about the World of Difference program 

Franklin Public Schools: Superintendent Ahern provides update on FHS video incident
Franklin Public Schools: Superintendent Ahern provides update on FHS video incident

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