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Wood BOE backs resolution decrying racism

Resident calls for board member to resign over online post

Photo by Michael Erb Wood County Board of Education member Debbie Hendershot signs a board resolution Tuesday decrying racism and promising new programs on diversity and racial understanding for Wood County Schools staff and students. Hendershot has come under fire for a recent Facebook post concerning the Confederate flag and “southern heritage.”

PARKERSBURG — Amid continued calls for a school board member to resign over a racially insensitive online post, the Wood County Board of Education has approved a resolution decrying racism and promising new programs on diversity and racial understanding.

Board President Justin Raber read aloud the resolution as well as a statement on why he supported the resolution at Tuesday’s school board meeting.

“The Wood County Board of Education believes that it is incumbent on the Wood County Board of Education to educate our students and community about racism and injustices of all marginalized communities, and is committed to continuously improve our system to be more inclusive and equitable for all students,” according to the resolution. “The Wood County Board of Education vows to make decisions with a deliberate awareness of impediments to learning faced by students of color and/or diverse cultural, linguistic or socio-economic backgrounds.”

The resolution also directs Superintendent Will Hosaflook “to develop practices and policies that will reduce cultural biases and institutional barriers that may negatively impact student learning, perpetuate achievement gaps and impede equal access to a free education for all students, including all students of color.”

The board unanimously approved the resolution, and Raber asked each member as well as Hosaflook to sign the document.

Earlier in the meeting, Wood County resident and parent Montana Lorraine came before the board for a second time concerning an online post by board member Debbie Hendershot and a demand for action.

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