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Plans to combat racism in the VB Kempsville High baseball program

Coaches, activity sponsors and student-athletes have been provided with professional development and/or training plans as part of “immediate steps,” a VBCPS statement said.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Virginia Beach City Public Schools (VBCPS) leaders are considering what comes next after several years of identifying racism within the Kempsville High School varsity baseball program.

In a statement on Wednesday, VBCPS confirmed that evidence of racism, hate speech and harassment had been uncovered.

Because of federal law protecting the privacy of students’ educational records and policies, administrators cannot comment on what specifically investigators found.

In a statement released on Thursday, they reiterated a zero-tolerance policy towards these acts.

“Kempsville High School has taken immediate steps to provide all coaches, activity sponsors and student-athletes with professional development and/or educational plans that create a culturally responsive and inclusive team, with an emphasis on zero tolerance for VBCPS “Racism, hate speech and harassment lies,” Thursday’s statement added in part.

Additionally, a VBCPS spokesperson said disciplinary actions by staff or students cannot be discussed.

RELATED: Kempsville High School baseball team loses season due to racism in program

In a series of videos viewed by 13News Now, a Virginia mother recounted her son’s experience playing on a high school baseball team.

She didn’t say where her child was going. However, our Virginia Beach viewers connect with the Kempsville High School posts.

In a video, the mother said her son recently spoke out about some teammates who had bullied him for years, insulted him and called him derogatory names because of his race.

The mother said on Facebook on Tuesday that her family was seeking legal advice.

A May 2 message from Principal Melissa George said a lengthy investigation found the problems were ongoing, broader than the original allegations and spanning several years.

On May 6, Principal George announced that an investigation had resulted in the forfeiture of the remainder of Kempsville’s baseball season.

RELATED: Feasibility study shows significant disparity between Williamsburg City students and James City County students

The retired educator and educational consultant Dr. For 35 years, Rebecca Good has believed it shouldn’t stop there.

“It’s good that they gave up for the rest of the season. That sent a very strong message. That’s very good, but what parents should pay attention to and ask if they don’t get it is ‘Okay, what else do you want to do?’ Do?’ “Forgoing the rest of the season is not a way to stop racism, especially systemic racism,” said Dr. Good.

Dr. Good, a former teacher, principal, assistant principal and principal, believes everyone, including students, needs to be involved moving forward.

“We need this action plan to involve more than just parents, school staff, parents and community members,” suggested Dr. Good before. “The fact that it has been going on for years and resulted in the cancellation of the season means it was serious.”

The school division’s Department of School Leadership, Office of Student Leadership and the Beach District Principals’ Association are working together to develop action plans “to address areas of concern,” the spokesperson continued.

You can read the full statement VBCPS issued to 13News Now on Thursday below:

“Kempsville High School has taken immediate steps to provide all coaches, activity sponsors and student-athletes with professional development and/or educational plans that create a culturally responsive and inclusive team, with an emphasis on zero tolerance for VBCPS Racism, hate speech and harassment lies.” .

At the department level, the Department of School Leadership, the Office of Student Leadership, and the Beach District Principals’ Association work together to develop action plans to address areas of concern.

The Office for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion has worked with several entities (e.g., the VBCPS Equity Council, the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities (VCIC), and the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater) to better serve VBCPS employees to understand how we think and how we interact with others.

VBCPS is committed to creating safe and welcoming environments for students and staff across all schools and across all teams.”

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