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SCS, Gray Stone respond to social media posts

Editor’s Note: Stanly County Schools and Gray Stone Day School made separate online posts Wednesday regarding offensive posts by students following a week of protests locally and nationally after the death of George Floyd while in police custody. The statements by the school systems are as follows:
Stanly County Schools posted the following on its Facebook page Wednesday night. 
Important Announcement:
Stanly County Schools was made aware of an inappropriate social media post that began circulating on June 2, 2020. While the conduct occurred off school grounds, one of our schools was tagged in the post. Stanly County School district condemns the violent and racist nature of this post and all it represents.  The actions portrayed in the post are not reflective of the values of our community or the school system.  We are working with local authorities to investigate the matter regarding student involvement.  Due to student confidentiality, we are unable to comment on specific actions regarding a student. The safety and well-being of ALL will remain the top priority of Stanly County Schools.
Thank you for your continued support! #StanlyStrong
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Gray Stone Day School posted the following on its Facebook page Wednesday night. 

Dear Gray Stone Community,

We are heartbroken, and quite frankly outraged, to share with you that a student who attended Gray Stone this past year was one of the individuals in an image of despicable content shared through their personal social media.

This post and others like it are clear acts of hate and racism that are without question unacceptable. While this did occur outside of the school, we have a moral obligation to hold students to a higher standard.

We are appalled by this, and we will adhere to legal guidelines for public schools as they relate to the discipline of a minor. The Board of Directors is exploring options and will take the necessary steps to ensure the safety and well-being of all of our students and staff — especially our students of color.

While we are addressing this particular issue, it raises the concern about what we should be doing as a school to address the systemic problem of racism.

Every student has a voice that deserves to be shared and heard. We must encourage those voices and we must listen carefully when they do. Students need to be heard.

Our country is hurting, especially our communities of color. We can do better and we will do better. No student should face harassment of any kind whether that is based on religion, sexual orientation, race or economic background.

We continue to ask that any act of harassment be reported to administration immediately. Each will be met with swift investigation and there will be no tolerance for any act of racism.

In closing, we need to reflect on where we have been and create dialogue on where we go from here. We can no longer accept to teach about change in the past. We must be a catalyst for change in the future.

Gray Stone has to be a school where no one person feels unsafe or attacked. We recognize in the past we might have missed opportunities to be more vocal and clear on this front; but let us be blunt now in stating that we are committed to standing against racism and the harassment or degradation of people of color.

Thank you for your continued support through these challenging times. This is a defining moment in our great country’s history and together we have the opportunity to ensure that the next generation of young minds will leave it better than the last.

Robert Stack
Middle School Principal
Jeff Morris
High School Principal
Helen Nance
Chief Administrative Officer