This letter is in response to the letter to the editor published on Thursday, April 6, 2023, titled, “Something is Rotten at Cleveland.” In the letter, it makes reference to an incident that occurred in September of 2021 where a student wore a Nazi armband to school. Rio Rancho Public Schools has acknowledged that this incident did happen and again reiterates that the incident in question was addressed. In addition, there has not been a similar incident since.
In regards to statements made about racist and insensitive comments, we take any report of this nature very seriously. The problem is, there hasn’t been a report. Rather, we have some serious accusations and no names and incidents to investigate. This is troubling to say the least. If we truly want our schools to be places where students and staff members of all races and backgrounds feel safe and valued, it takes everyone. If you see something, say something. If you hear something, report it.
We do not buy the excuse, “They won’t do anything.” This is a poor excuse for not doing the right thing and not reporting inappropriate behavior. We absolutely have addressed incidents in the past and will continue to do so should any arise. Contrary to the letter, we do not tolerate nor turn a blind eye to incidents of racism, injustice, or discrimination against anyone in our schools.
As a school district and as individuals we welcome and embrace diversity, believe in justice for all people and denounce racism. We respectfully request that the incidents referenced in the letter be reported with specifics to the appropriate officials at Rio Rancho Public Schools so they can be addressed.
Thank you,
Dr. V. Sue Cleveland,