A joint statement from the Massachusetts School Administrators’ Association and the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association released Tuesday decried the recent incident of anti-Semitic language connected with the Duxbury High football team, and reiterated a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion across the commonwealth.
The letter, released via social media, was signed by MIAA executive director William N. Gaine:
“At MSAA/MIAA we are compelled to speak up regarding the recent anti-Semitic events that have been in the news these past weeks. It is heartening that some individuals who heard these lately and hurtful words came forward. It is times like these that we are reminded of the importance of the work that is being done in the areas of diversity, equity and inclusion and the opportunities that school activities and athletics provide as integral parts of the education process. Utilizing these extensions of the classroom to assist students in learning values and life lessons is our collective responsibility as educators and educational associations.
“We have worked diligently on behalf of our members to provide ongoing resources and professional development. As events such as these occur, they underscore the need for us to remain focused on this work. Our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion joint committee [DEIC] offers summits, workshops, conferences and meets monthly to plan and to address social justice and racism. The DEIC has emerged as an invaluable resource for administrators and districts.
“The MIAA mission of Educational Athletics is to promote respect for self and respect for others. Our work is ongoing with sportsmanship, coaches’ education, wellness education and workshops dealing with racism and bias. We have established a long standing collaboration with the Anti-Defamation League and Partners in Prevention to further our goals. We actively partner with the National Federation of State High School Association reinforcing our commitment to this critical work.
“MSAA’s professional development workshop offerings address issues of justice, racism and bias. Additionally, our work with Student Councils and National Honor Societies, MSAA provides support for students and staff to address social justice and equitable opportunities in their schools.
“In closing. Karen Spilka, MA Senate President, stated, “We need this to be more than just a ‘teachable moment’ — we need sustained increased education — among administrators, educators, coaches, officials, referees, and students — so that this never happens again.” MSAA/MIAA are steadfast in our commitment to this needed ‘sustained increased education’ for member schools, administrators and districts.
William N. Gaine
Christopher Price can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at cpriceglobe.