Source: Kate Queeney
Thirteen principals and vice principals from eight Amherst/Pelham schools issued a statement of unequivocal support for the district’s children and for LGBTQA+ students and families and pledged “to act with immediacy and integrity to restore trust and rebuild our community so everyone feels acknowledged, appreciated, and accepted for who they are.” The statement came in the wake of allegations of discrimination against LGBTQA+ students are Amherst Regional Middle School and of accusations that school administrators had failed to act in response to the allegations.
The statement was read at the joint special meeting of the Regional School Committee and the Union 26 School Committee on May 18 and appeared in the Amherst Parent Guard Organization newsletter on May 19.
The full text of the statement follows:
As building-level leaders at ARPS, we have the privilege of spending our days in the company of your children, supporting the amazing educators who teach and care for them. It’s joyful and rewarding work, but it isn’t always easy. It can be challenging, chaotic, and sometimes heart wrenching. This is one of those times in the ARPS community. We are coming together today to acknowledge that fact and to state, unequivocally, that every administrator, faculty and staff member in the Amherst, Pelham and Regional Schools is dedicated to holding your children close in support as we move forward together. Every school has caring, loving teachers, paraeducators, counselors, coaches, and others who are ready to help. Please feel free to reach out to your school’s office anytime.
And to our LGBTQIA+ students and families, we pledge our unconditional, unwavering support and solidarity. Our actions must speak louder than our words in support of our LGBTQIA+ community, who have been continually marginalized and oppressed. As district leaders, we must lead with courage and compassion. Together and in collaboration with faculty, staff, students, and families, we pledge to act with immediacy and integrity to restore trust and rebuild our community so everyone feels acknowledged, appreciated, and accepted for who they are. Please remember that you are loved; you are valued; and together, we are ARPS.
Elizabeth Burns, Amherst Early Education Center Administrator
Derek Shea, Crocker Farm Principal
Jennifer Smith, Crocker Farm Assistant Principal
Tammy Sullivan-Daley, Fort River Principal
Julio Fernandez, Fort River Assistant Principal
Micki Darling, Pelham Principal
Nick Yaffe, Wildwood Principal
Allison Estes, Wildwood Assistant Principal
Diego Sharon, ARMS Principal
Talib Sadiq, ARHS Principal
Samantha Camera, ARHS Assistant Principal
Miki Gromacki, ARHS Assistant Principal
David Slovin, Summit Academy Principal