Pelham Schools superintendent says she stands by decision to ban blue, Black lives matter symbols
Pelham Schools held a board meeting Wednesday night to address the tension that has been brewing over a new policy.
Superintendent Dr. Cheryl Champ says she is standing by her new ban on school staff wearing any symbol that pertains to either the Black Lives Matter or Blue Lives Matter movements while on the job.
This comes after staff wore masks and other clothing to school with the thin blue line flag.
Dr. Champ says students are seeing the symbol as "threatening by nature," causing them to feel unsafe within their school.
The decision to ban both messages has only fired up the divide over this issue.
Parents and other community members against the superintendent's policy say the symbol was never worn to hurt anyone, but to support law enforcement and those who have given the ultimate sacrifice.
While many others say that if students do not feel safe seeing their teachers wear the symbol in school — that should be the bottom line.
During Wednesday night's meeting, Dr. Champ read a joint statement with union presidents of the Pelham and Pelham Manor Police Departments. "We are in agreement that our schools and police departments can and will work together around common goals of fostering an atmosphere in which our police officers are supported and respected for their work and which all students feel safe and respected in their schools, regardless of their background or beliefs."
Dr. Champ, members of the board along with Pelham and Pelham Manor officials also wrote a joint statement saying, "We remain dedicated to doing the necessary work to ensure that all residents are supported and treated equitably in our community and our schools."
They say they want to keep the lines of communication open in order to help move the community forward in a positive direction.