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Upper Adams Deals with Alleged Racism

Upper Adams School District (UASD) is dealing this week with controversy surrounding a Facebook page alleging a history of incidents of racism at Biglerville High School.

District Superintendent Wesley Doll said in a letter posted to the district’s website on Sunday that high school principal Beth Graham and assistant principal Nathan Becker would be available Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday (January 25-28) to “listen and hear any student who wishes to share their experiences, thoughts, feelings, and/or ideas.” Doll said students who might be more comfortable meeting with their guidance counselor were encouraged to do so.

“Tomorrow we will have a police presence to assist us in creating a comfortable environment for our school community,” Doll said in the Sunday letter.

UASD would not comment on whether the police presence was continued at the high school after Monday or why it was needed.

UASD would not comment on whether students had been coming to the discussion periods or what the nature of the conversations had been.

Two local residents met Monday with Superintendent Doll to discuss the situation. “I will say it was a start. How productive it was we will soon see but I am optimistic,” said one of the meeting attendees, Blessing F. Shahid.

UASD would not comment on those meetings.

Doll made the following comments through a spokesperson:

“We are assessing the situation and take the concerns of our community very seriously. We do not tolerate racist behavior in any form, nor do we condone the behaviors that have been shared recently on various social media accounts. The experiences described do not reflect our school district’s values. As a school committed to diversity, inclusion and creating a safe environment free of bullying, we are looking further into this matter. Our administration has reached out to the managers of the social media pages, our parents and the community to ensure any issues are immediately addressed. We encourage all students to report any racist or bullying behavior through our Safe2SaySomething School Safety Program which may be accessed at UpperAdams.org under About Us. We are assessing the situation and take the concerns of our community very seriously. We do not tolerate racist behavior in any form, nor do we condone the behaviors that have been shared recently on various social media accounts.”

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Charles Stangor is Gettysburg Connection's Publisher and Editor in Chief.

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  • Just moved to area. Not surprised this is problem. This is basically a white area. If folks do not have friend and/or relative that is diverse, there is no way to really know we are all the same. Only improves as people get to know each other on personal level.

  • My daughter and I were bullied by the guidance counselor there when we were there to enroll her. She needed special assistance and they weren’t even willing to work with me. The school secretary also bullied us both whenever we came into the school. It got so bad that with my daughter’s anxiety being so bad we made special arrangements for my daughter to enter the school a different way to avoid the secretary altogether. So with guidance counselors with attitudes, do you honestly expect students to feel comfortable talking to them? I can understand the kids feeling intimidated by the police presence and I also understand why the school would have them there. But honestly, teachers and administrators don’t ever do a damn thing about bullying EVER!!! That’s why my daughter has to be on homebound instruction…she’s been bullied so bad she can’t even attend school for her anxiety and PTSD is so bad. It’s hard for her to be around other students. I have been into schools and complained about the bullying and it’s never stopped. Schools always think they are doing everything they can and that they are truly listening to the students, but at the end of the day they think they are right and have done nothing wrong. This is why kids don’t speak up…they are afraid to and if they did they would be made to think they were in the wrong and the school is right. I don’t normally speak up about things, but since my daughter and I had such bad experiences there I felt the need to contribute. However, My daughter’s teacher she has for homebound instruction from Upper Adams is the best teacher she has ever had. She’s an amazing woman and goes above and beyond to help my daughter. If I don’t have to deal with the rest of the school, I stay away.

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