State Superintendent Stanford Taylor asks districts to review graduation policies as they relate to American Indian traditions

As the school year winds down and graduation ceremonies take place, State Superintendent Carolyn Stanford Taylor has sent a reminder to Wisconsin school superintendents to review their policies regarding American Indian ceremonial traditions. “Throughout Wisconsin, many school districts already recognize the importance of American Indian students wearing eagle feathers, traditional regalia, and other items,” Stanford Taylor wrote, noting that many school districts addressed their policies in 2017 after the Department of Public Instruction asked them to connect with sovereign tribal nations and discuss with tribal leaders ways to recognize and honor tribal traditions and practices. In the past, some school districts have prohibited students from wearing items of religious and cultural significance at graduation ceremonies and school-sponsored events.

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Baraboo educators send strong message: There is no room for hate

WEAC Region 5’s Baraboo Education Association members knew they wanted to send a strong message after a widely criticized photo of students who appeared to make a Nazi salute went viral in November. The BEA Executive Board sprang into action, promoting a “No Room for Hate” T-shirt fundraiser to benefit the Auschwitz Memorial Museum, the first of many groups to condemn the photo.

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WEAC: We must foster hate-free schools and communities

WEAC on Monday condemned a disturbing photo – spread through social media – of some Baraboo High School students giving a Nazi salute last spring during a prom photo shoot off of school premises. WEAC President Ron Martin also discussed the situation with NEA President Lily Eskelsen Garcia, and they issued the following joint statement: “The photo is disgusting and completely contrary to the values and beliefs of our educator-members. Our association fully supports the district’s investigation and intention to take all appropriate responses. The Wisconsin Education Association Council works to give teachers resources so they can foster hate-free schools where all people are respected and celebrated, including racial justice in education, creating safe and welcoming schools and anti-bullying. This shameful situation makes it clear our mission is more important than ever, and we will remain vigilant.”

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