Parents are outraged after they received an email sent to thousands of parents of kids who attend schools in the Irvine California Unified Schools district. The email, was to notify parents of kids as young as 5 years old that there are some kids that are scared and that they have instituted special discussions in classes post election:
“Our educators have facilitated thoughtful discussions in classes throughout our schools.”
-Superintendent of Schools, Irvine Unified School District
The school district, which is mostly made up of grammar and middles schools with children as young as 5 years old felt it necessary to facilitate “thoughtful discussions with 5, 6 and 7 year olds about a presidential election that this superintendent just can’t get over. Here is the full letter that went out to thousands of parents:
Irvine Unified School District
Dear IUSD Community,
In IUSD, we enjoy a rich diversity of cultures, languages, religions and viewpoints. We know that this diversity enables our students to understand and embrace our differences – it is our strength. We also know that our students need to hear and to see examples of respectful dialogue and discussion. They need to trust that they can express their ideas without fear of censure or retribution. IUSD staff are committed to the values of equity and inclusion, which means supporting the right of all students to express their feelings and opinions, respectfully.
This past election year offered many teachable moments. Our educators have facilitated thoughtful discussions in classes throughout our schools. However, the tone and tenor of the current political discourse has raised concerns for some of our students and their families. These concerns have been communicated to the District Office and to our schools. The sentiments expressed stem from what our children have observed from an election that was, at times, uncivil and contradicted the respectful exchange of ideas we expect from our children at school and at home.
While we must refrain from endorsing any political point of view, we do have a responsibility to ensure our campuses are safe and that our students are respectful of each other. To this end, all IUSD schools implement what is known as Positive Behavior Interventions Support (PBIS)
Among the many benefits of PBIS, it establishes values, expectations and guidelines for positive student behavior, irrespective of the behaviors students may observe through the media and in our society today. PBIS is a constant on IUSD campuses and our staff have continued to remind students about the importance of being good citizens who represent respectful and appropriate interactions with their fellow students and those in our community. We will not tolerate bullying or discrimination for any reason in our schools.
Please take a moment to discuss the importance of respectful dialogue with your children and we will continue to do the same at school. If your child needs support or help expressing any concerns or fears he or she may have, please contact your school principal or school psychologist. You may also contact the Irvine Family Resource Center for additional resources. The safety and wellbeing of our students is our top priority.
To view information about your school’s PBIS, please visit your school’s webpage.
Thank you for your continued engagement, partnership and support, which enables IUSD to best serve our students.
Terry L. Walker
Superintendent of Schools, Irvine Unified School District
BOARD OF EDUCATION
PAUL BOKOTA / LAUREN BROOKS / IRA GLASKY / MICHAEL PARHAM / SHARON WALLIN
TERRY L. WALKER, Superintendent of Schools
JOHN FOGARTY, Assistant Superintendent, Business Services / BRIANNE FORD, Chief Technology Officer
EAMONN O’DONOVAN, Assistant Superintendent, Human Resources / CASSIE PARHAM, Assistant Superintendent, Education Services IUSD . . . providing the highest quality educational experience we can envision.
Here is the list of schools that fall under the umbrella of the Irvine Unified District: