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.”