Pine-Richland school board holds first meeting since controversial homecoming proposal

On Monday, the Pine-Richland school board held its first meeting since a controversial homecoming proposal started circulating on social media.

The “homecoming proposal” that caused backlash was a sign held by a student that read: “If I was Black, I would be picking cotton. But I’m white, so I’m picking you for homecoming.”

During the board meeting, parents passionately addressed the school board, expressing their disgust and claiming that time and time again, the district had failed their children.

“You have a responsibility to our community, black and brown and any other family in the district to do the right thing. Have the policies in place so we don’t have to come back and have the same conversations with you again and again,” said one parent.

“This district is not only failing it’s black and brown kids we are failing everyone, every single kids. We need DEI, we need education to teach our kids to be anti-racist,” another parent told the board.

Many parents say the district needs to revisit its diversity, equity and inclusion policy.

The district was working to create a DEI policy, known as policy 832.

Its intent was to better support and protect the district’s Black, brown and marginalized students along with hiring more of a diverse faculty but earlier this year, It was ultimately scrapped by the board.

On Monday the board made a commitment to attend DEI training.

Ultimately, the district condemned the proposal, saying it was opposed to racism in any form. “We stand with our Black and brown families. It is our goal to strengthen a positive culture for every student at Pine-Richland.”

As for the student in question, the school board said the offensive action didn’t happen on school grounds and it wasn’t able to disclose what disciplinary action the student may face.

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