I want to thank you for the informative story on the advocacy group P-CoC. It was very helpful and thought provoking. There were lots of numbers and statistics to clarify our school population.

There was a statement by the superintendent that I wish had been expanded — “African-American parents tend to leave Hastings after their children graduate because of undesirable experiences in the community.” This was powerful and concerning. As a reader, I wanted to know more. First, I don’t doubt the painful experiences or the validity of the report. In terms of a social problem in our community, I was left wondering how the information was gathered and to what extent were people affected. Was this an informal discussion with the superintendent or a survey? How many families have been affected? Even for one family to have a painful experience is unfortunate. Is this a growing problem over time? What is meant by “undesirable experiences”? Were these overt or subtle racist vents or micro-aggressions?

 When a statement from a community leader is made public, I think it carries more weight. Was this data reported to the board of education months ago, since Valerie learned of this “last summer”? I hope that either she or P-CoC can further clarify the extent of this problem. In wanting to address and hopefully solve it, I think we need to know more and to what extent.

Steven Goldfinger

Hastings

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