In recent days our Administration has had the opportunity to listen to the voices of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color who are students, parents, and alumni of Eastern Christian School. We believe that every member of our school community has been created in the image of God and should be treated with all of the dignity that this requires. We have been grieved to hear that any of God’s image bearers experience racism in our schools.
As a Board of Directors, we want to express deep regret to those members of our community who have been wounded by racist actions and comments. As a community, we confess that we have sinned against God and our neighbor in thought, word and deed by what we have done and have left undone. We are sorry that people felt like they were not being heard, or did not have a voice. We want to do better.
Eastern Christian stands against racism in all its forms. Over the past several years, we have crafted, reviewed and re-written policies and procedures to make sure that our position on racism was clear, that it would not be tolerated, and to be proactive in inviting Black, Indigenous, and People of Color to be represented on our board and our staff. We have and will continue to seek the wise counsel of experts and provide training for our teachers. We have taken action to remove both students and faculty from our school community for overt acts of racism. Still, there is more that we can do.
First, we commit to listen. Had it not been for the voices that have spoken up about their experience, we would not know the depths to which people have been affected by racist behavior during their Eastern Christian experience.
Second, we encourage you to speak. If any parent or student has or does experience an act of racism, we encourage you to go to any member of our administrative team. Administrators Karyn Baitzel, Sandy Bottge, Mary Faber, Dan Lazor, and David Intlekofer will listen and will take action. Head of School, Tom Dykhouse and Assistant Head of School, Ruth Kuder are also available for you. Please do not be silent.
Third, we invite your presence. Eastern Christian is a Parent-led school. We, the Board, operate on behalf of the parents of the students of Eastern Christian. Our board meetings are public meetings that happen on the 3rd Tuesday of every other month. In addition, our annual association meeting–where the annual vision and budget are presented–happens in February. The specific dates of these meetings will be published on the school website and calendar. Every parent is a valuable stakeholder at Eastern Christian, and we want to hear your voice so that we can represent you well.
We have much further to go, and we have much more to learn. For those who have been hurt by the actions of a member of our community, we ask your forgiveness. Our hope is reconciliation, and a future Eastern Christian School that more fully reflects the school theme we adopted this past school year: “Every Tribe, Every Tongue, Every Nation.”
A community, made in the image of God.
In Christ, and for our School Community,
The Board of Directors of Eastern Christian School