Jamesville-DeWitt addresses recent RamFeed segment

On Wednesday, April 17, Jamesville-DeWitt High School’s student-run news club RamFeed produced a segment recognizing Arab American Heritage Month that was upsetting for members of our school community. 

Students chose to feature Linda Sarsour. They outlined her background, activism history, and acknowledged anti-Semitic accusations against her but did not dive deep enough into the causes she has supported. The activist has been known to promote anti-Israel policies and support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel.

While the district does not want to censor free speech, we cannot tolerate sentiments that negatively target specific groups or communities, no matter who they are. It goes against our mission, vision, and core values. 

Diversity is one of Jamesville-DeWitt’s greatest strengths and we celebrate that. It is also the very reason behind the district’s vision of ensuring a culture that is inclusive, welcoming and equitable; where all students and staff feel safe and valued.

We’ve taken great strides to promote respect, acceptance, kindness and empathy in our schools. Not just so students can learn alongside each other, but to prepare them for the future. 

“In the coming days and weeks, administrators and staff will look closely at the process used to review and approve student project topics. We can do a better job of guiding students and will use this as a valuable teaching moment for students involved with the production and beyond,” said Superintendent Peter Smith.

We will also continue to provide avenues for students to voice their thoughts and concerns and take actionable steps through direct conversations; Student Government; and Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) group discussions and activities.

If any students or staff need support, resources are available through our Counseling Department.