Disappointed in Paper’s One-Sided Reporting on School Task Force
As a member of the Race, Inclusivity and Community Task Force, I was disappointed by the inaccurate portrayal of our most recent meeting in the article, “School Task Force on Race Takes a Radical Turn”, in the October 23, 2020 issue of The Rye Record.
Though I am not a journalist, I know the basic rules of the trade: Speak to as many primary sources as possible and verify your information before disseminating it to the public. The Task Force is made up of over 90 volunteers, over 60 of whom participated in the most recent meeting. We all have different backgrounds, varying perspectives, and diverse heritages. Progress was made, voices were heard, and there was nothing notably radical about our virtual Task Force meeting.
The article’s portrayal of the Task Force cherry picks dialogue to create a one-sided narrative. It is inspiring to be a part of such imperative discourse, which is directly aligned with the description Dr. Byrne outlined in his June 19, 2020 Community Update. I am grateful for the thoughtful leadership of our current Board of Education and Administration for empowering this important initiative. I remain hopeful that — despite The Rye Record’s disappointing effort to make this complicated topic a divisive one for Rye — the Task Force will continue to push forward, bringing together diverse perspectives in a respectful forum.
Drawing directly from Dr. Byrne’s June community update, “[We] are committed to following a comprehensive process that will seek to identify areas where we fall short, opportunities for growth and in developing a plan that will ensure we achieve equity for all.” There is nothing radical about this transparent goal.
—< Kelsey Johnson>