Beaver River school forming group to address controversial topics

Published: Feb. 8, 2023 at 5:51 PM EST
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TOWN OF NEW BREMEN, New York (WWNY) - Beaver River Central School is creating a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee, involving a group of diverse community members. The goals are to keep conversations cordial and create new guidelines.

“I think no one wants to sit in an environment where it feels there is some tension there because of people thinking differently,” said Superintendent Todd Green.

He says that doesn’t happen very often. But when it does, he wants to be prepared.

“Rather than something happen and us trying to backtrack, try to catch up, we thought, well, let’s put this out there, talk about what DEI is from the prospective,” he said.

DEI stands for Diversity Equity and Inclusion. It’s a statewide initiative. Green gave a quick introduction of it at a November board meeting.

It led to some back and forth conversation about talks on controversial topics like sexual orientation.

One week ago, Green sent a letter looking for DEI committee members who will help recommend age appropriate guidelines, a process for review of the guidelines, and a process for adjusting the guidelines if needed.

“We are here to share ideas and expose students to ideas, but it is not our place to be the judgment of those ideas. That’s what we leave up to the families,” said Green.

In a statement to 7 News, Beaver River Board of Education President Jonathan Beller wrote, “While we realize that controversial topics have a broad spectrum of opinions, our hope is that by working closely with the school community we can put policies in place that continue to make Beaver River a place that is focused on our children’s education and growth.”

Creating an environment to promote respectful and open conversations and set an example for Beaver River students.

“There’s no question that students need to have the knowledge when they walk out. But when they walk out of the school, we also want them to be positive citizens, and to have citizenship you need to have tough conversations,” said Green.

The committee will be made up of 15 to 20 community members. You can learn more about the initiative on the Beaver River Central School website.