The Peekskill Post has obtained a statement from Peekskill City School District Interim Superintendent Mary Foster, regarding the video showing a teacher and student engaging in a heated political debate in a classroom.
It is as follows:
“I am aware of the video that was posted to social media which depicted one of our high school teachers and a twelfth-grade student engaged in an intense conversation regarding political and cultural issues. Our district strongly believes that providing an opportunity for students to engage in an open dialogue with a productive exchange of views must be encouraged and fostered by our teachers, as we prepare our high school students for adulthood. Our district expects that discussions involving challenging and sometimes contentious political and/or cultural topics will be handled in a thoughtful, respectful and constructive manner.
As educators, it is our responsibility to exercise leadership while in the classroom and to encourage respect for our students at all times, even when disagreements regarding the issue discussed persist. At the same time, one of our responsibilities is to instill in our students that appropriate civil discourse is always essential. We are continuing to investigate this matter to better understand the facts upon which we will take appropriate action.
Regardless of the foregoing, we recognize that further dialogue is necessary in our school community, reminding everyone of our expectations and respect for all.”