Dear Alumnae, Parents and STA Community,
We appreciate with sincerity the letters, emails, posts, phone calls and comments we have received regarding the recent incident involving several of our students playing the "Jews vs Nazis" drinking game. We are grateful for both the critical letters, as they illuminate the ongoing challenge to educate away from racism and discrimination in our community, and those in support, as they remind us of the extensive efforts we already expend in these areas. This incident, as well as all the questions it has raised, has our full attention. Here is an update on where we are:
Disciplinary Action Imposed
While we may never all agree, we do fully support the actions taken by the administration. There is much misinformation being circulated about the extent of the actions taken and we are not going to publicly list them now. The girls involved have expressed their regret and sorrow and have asked for forgiveness. We do not think expulsion is appropriate.
Disciplinary Action Review
While we are not going to impose additional disciplinary steps in this case, we do believe we can learn from this incident. We are retaining an educational specialist to review our disciplinary process and policies and to make recommendations to the Board as to what needs to change.
Diversity and Inclusion Review
STA is a welcoming place for all our students. We recognize that more work needs to be done. We are engaging a diversity and inclusion specialist to review our educational practices and make recommendations on how we can improve.
Board Special Committee
We wish to keep hearing opinions and recommendations from our community. We are appointing a special committee of the Board of Directors to work with the administration to facilitate ongoing listening, learning and focus on matters of diversity and inclusion.
Considerable Steps Taken
The administration has previously announced an extensive list of other steps already underway.
The events of the past several weeks have caused a great deal of introspection for STA. We are called to "profound love" in action by being unifiers and reconcilers for peace, healing, and anti-racism. At STA we are not teaching discriminative practices and we are confident we are not modeling discriminative behavior. We denounce hatred of any kind. The use of a swastika in a drinking game involving our students is an affront to our core values.
Thank you for your keen interest in this matter, and in your ongoing love for St. Teresa's Academy. We hope to merit your continued confidence as we learn from this incident and create a better future for STA and our community.
Sincerely, The STA Board of Directors