HAVERHILL — The following is a statement from Superintendent Maureen Lynch:
“This morning, our district was made aware of an offensive and hurtful ‘Check Your Privilege’ video created and shared by students on social media about race and the experiences of people of color.
“The video trivializes instances of racism and discrimination people of color face every day.
“We are disappointed that students felt such a video was appropriate, particularly at this time in our nation’s history, when so many people are working tirelessly to examine and address the historic racism and injustice in our shared past. We have reached out to the parents/guardians of the students.
“We are even more saddened by the deep hurt this video has caused by isolating members of our community and attempting to minimize the discrimination and racism that is unfortunately alive and well today.
“I want to reaffirm to our community: Whittier Tech denounces all forms of racism, discrimination and hate. We value diversity and strive to cultivate a school environment that is welcoming, respectful and built on kindness and compassion.
“As a school, it’s my hope this moment can act as a learning opportunity from which we can grow. It is our duty to prepare students to be informed, thoughtful, positive members of society, something reflected in our curriculum, student groups and professional development opportunities for staff.
“We held a professional development program two weeks ago with more than 65 staff members regarding diversity and inclusion, and are planning additional training and opportunities for faculty this school year regarding these topics as well. Further, we will continue to seek out opportunities to further conversations regarding racism, diversity and tolerance in our school. We also have wonderful student groups that work to uphold the diverse voices of our community, including our Multicultural Club.
“Lastly, I would like to sincerely thank the students, parents, guardians and alumni who brought this video to our attention. As a community, it is critical that we have these difficult conversations and address actions that are harmful and offensive so that we can move forward with empathy and respect for one another.”