Dear Olympus High Community,
As many of you are aware, this week our students are celebrating “Spirit Week,” which is full of activities and events intended to unite and celebrate our student body. As part of these events, certain dress up activities occurred each day. Today was designated as “Thug Thursday,” which is clearly a very inappropriate and culturally insensitive activity and promulgates highly negative and inaccurate stereotypes.
First and foremost, I would like to express my profound apologies to our students and community as a whole. This activity does not reflect the feelings or values of our school or community. Additionally, my apologies to any member of our school and community who were made to feel unsafe, unvalued, or denigrated in any way shape or form. While it was unintended, it still occurred and I personally apologize.
Secondly, while student leaders create and carryout these activities, they are ultimately vetted and approved by our advisors and school administration. We are still determining how this event was allowed to be publicized and carried out and will take appropriate action to correct that process as soon as possible. Regardless, as the principal of the school, the buck ultimately stops with me and I take full responsibility that this occurred and am working to ensure it never happens again.
In addition to meetings with our student leaders and advisors, I will also speak broadly to our students tomorrow to ensure that every student and staff member understands why this was inappropriate and what will be doing as a school to ensure all of our activities are inclusive to all students and members of our diverse community and state.
This was a mistake. More important than punishment, the school has a responsibility to do our best to educate our students and staff on cultural inclusiveness and sensitivity to eradicate stereotypes and ignorance that still exist in our society. We hope our students and community as a whole will be forgiving and help us work to resolve these issues and we appreciate your patience as we work to do so.
Steve Perschon – Principal