In response to a letter by the American Civil Liberties Union Foundations of Southern and Northern California, which alleges the Greenfield Union School District created a hostile environment for Black students and staff, the district wrote in a statement it "strongly disagrees" with the characterizations outlined in the letter.
The ACLU letter details the treatment of seventh grade English teacher Kei Jackson, whose contract wasn't renewed after she filed a formal complaint on May 13, 2019, alleging that the district maintained a racially hostile environment, violated staff and students’ rights to free speech and expression, and failed to ensure that Black staff and students felt welcome and supported in the district. Jackson, who taught at Ollivier Middle School, was allegedly prevented from wearing a shirt that read “Phenomenally Black" on April 3, 2019.
In addition, the letter alleges that students at the school were told that they were required to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance, which is in violation of their First Amendment rights.
"Greenfield Union School District is fully committed to ensuring that all students and staff are respected and celebrated," the statement said. "Our district has a long history of serving African American students and other students of color and meeting the educational needs of all students and families."
Because this is a personnel matter, the district said it's not at liberty to comment further.
"The Greenfield Union School District is dedicated to providing a safe, supportive, and secure learning environment for all students and staff," the statement added.