Lakeland SD parents accuse district of placing too much emphasis on race without their input
A group of parents in one Hudson Valley community are accusing their school district of placing too much emphasis on race.
Parent Judy McLaughlin, who is speaking for the group, says they are worried school leaders in the Lakeland School District are making decisions on curriculum without parental input.
Improving equity in schools is a goal of the board this year. It has created an advisory group helping guide decisions on the matter.
Superintendent Brendan Lyons says the District Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Team formed earlier this year.
In a statement he says, "Our objective is to ensure that all Lakeland students feel safe, valued and accepted at school so that they can meet their full potential."
Students of color currently make up 35% of the district's population.
A presentation to the Board of Education shows efforts to be more inclusive are already happening in classrooms.
McLaughlin says she takes no issue with assignments like this, she just wants a say in what her kids are being taught.
"There are so many books that also make kids just concentrate with a critical lens on everybody's skin color," she says.
The advisory team is expected to give the school board an update at their June 10 meeting.
The district's superintendent says the advisory team is in the early stages but will be developing a plan that includes recommendations to change curricula.
The school board would have the final say on any changes.