Anonymous stories posted on an Instagram account called “DearMEVSD” are reportedly from former and current students
By Chuck Gibson (Wendy Planicka, Director of Communications & Public Relations, Milford Schools contributed to this story)
MILFORD, OH (June 25, 2020) – Milford Exempted Village School District released information and a statement late this afternoon in response to anonymous stories of racism and discrimination reportedly from current and former students posted on an Instagram account called “DearMEVSD”.
Nancy House, Superintendent Milford Schools through July 29, 2020, when her reitirement takes effect (Provided)
In the statement released this afternoon, Milford Schools expressed a desire to communicate their response to the recent appearance of social media accounts referencing racism and discrimination within Milford Schools. The statement specifically cited the Instagram account called “DearMEVSD” (Milford Exempted Village School District) which has posted annonymous stories from people claiming to be either current or former Milford students. According to their statement, Milford School officials do not know who created, or administers that account.
Despite the anonymity of the stories, and no clear knowledge of the creator or administrator over the account content, the Milford Schools statement expresses thanks to those students who shared their stories. The statement also says “We are listening.” In a clear effort to show sincere belief the stories may be credible and valid, the statement goes on to say: there is work to be done and Milford Schools plans to do the work necessary.
Milford Exempted Village School District (MEVSD)
“We thank our students, both current and former, who have told their stories about the discrimination they have encountered,” said current Milford Schools Superintendent, Nancy House who wiil be officially retired from the position July 29, 2020. “We are deeply sorry. We can and will do better. We know there is still work to do.”
The Instagram account asks the school district to discipline the students now for actions whcih are claimed to have occured during the school year. In the statement, the school explains it is not possible for a school district to discipline a student while school is not in session. What they are doing is following up anytime an incident is reported directly to them. They investigate the incident and turn the matter over to local police when it is deemed necessary. The school district is urging anyone with information on such matters to send reports directly to school officials for quick action.
“One of the main goals of our district’s Strategic Plan, our Portrait of an Eagle, is fostering cultural competence,” House said. “Our focus is teaching tolerance, care, and compassion.We will continue to work to eliminate racism, hate, and bias in our schools. When staff and students return to school in the fall, we will implement cultural competency training programs. School leaders have participated in the Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce’s Cultural Competence program and returned to the district to continue to build bridges across the cultural, political, and social divides in our region and our country. That work will continue this fall as well.”
It is worthwhile to note, the stories were apparently solicited by the administrator of the Instagram account with a promise of anonymity. It is also notable that another local news organization published a story referencing both Kings and Milford schools.
Click here to see stories posted on the “DearMEVSD” Instagram account.
Here are images from the social media posts referencing racist or discriminatory behavior by students past and present:
The social media stories were posted anonymously and offer no way to verify the incidents, students involved, or time and location where, when and if the incidents occured as posted.
This taken from the text of the statement released by Milford Schools late this afternoon, Thursday, June 25, 2020: Teachers, school leaders, and parents must be purposeful in addressing racism and trauma experienced by people of color. If you or someone you know has become a victim of or has witnessed acts of violence, hate, bigotry, acts of intimidation, or bullying, please use our Stay Safe Speak Up hotline. Reports can be made anonymously or may include contact information.
Additional Editor’s Note: John Spieser will officially replace Nancy House as Milford Exempted Village School Distritct Superintendent beginning August 1, 2020.
While no plan for the reopening of Milford Schools for the 2020/2021 school year has been announced yet, click here to learn the latest on the Milford Schools website.
John Speiser, will be MEVSD Superintendent beginning August 1, 2020 (Provided)