Here is a letter I sent today to our Hamilton Southeastern School Board Members in reference to their recent 4-3 vote to not include specified wording in Board policies recognizing often marginalized groups. Final vote by the board will be taken at the May 8 board meeting:
Dear HSE Board —
I am writing in response to the most recent board action concerning wording in policies. I have been a resident of Fishers for the past 11 years. I am a white man with a white wife, a white biological son, and an adopted Chinese-American daughter.
I am disappointed in the board’s recent reticence to use specific, inclusive wording as part of policies. I assume the 4-3 vote taken previously may represent a fear that recognition means reality of existence for those specified people who’d be identified directly in wording. The reticence is based upon a fear of recognition that these specified persons exist. The United States is not a white, Eurocentric, heterosexual country. It is a country filled with people across many spectrums. Those people all have choice, a vote, a stake in our country. Denial of recognition is denial of identity. Surely the board would not support a policy that says white students are to be denied rights. Yet that is what the board is saying when it refuses to recognize those non-whites and non-heterosexual individuals. The board is saying those persons don’t exist.
Board — those persons do exist. My Chinese-American daughter exists. My gay friends exist. My transgender friend exists. I will not accept a school board that chooses which students to identify. All students are a part of our Fishers and school community.
I also see the associated risk of damage to the district’s reputation and to the city of Fishers. If all those persons opposed to your recent vote actually moved, more than just property values would drop. Fortunately there is a movement, a large one, that opposes the message of the first vote. It is my hope that the board reverses course as persons of a true democratic society should and recognize all students fairly. The movement will continue until justice and righteousness for those affected is achieved.