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Round Rock ISD's Walsh Middle School apologizes for email depicting negative racial stereotypes

"It is not representative of how we view, or feel about our families," the apology states.

ROUND ROCK, Texas — Walsh Middle School in Round Rock ISD has issued an apology over an email containing an image it says depicts negative racial stereotypes.

The email announcing virtual and on-campus start dates states, "School doesn't have to be traditional to be world-class," and depicts two dark-skinned students lounging at home reading from a book and laptop while two light-skinned students are working at their desks in a classroom.

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The full acknowledgment can be read below:

Good afternoon,

Yesterday, August 5th, an email was sent to all families through Campus Enews which caused harm and frustration in our community. The email titled ‘Welcome Back’ included a reminder to complete the in-person/distance-learning choice selection survey. The message was accompanied by the image found below. The implications of this paralleled image denote negative stereotypes and assumptions in the depiction of Black students along with erasure of other racial identities represented in our learning community.

Walsh Administration acknowledges the harm this portrayal caused in our community along with other campuses who received the same email. It is not representative of how we view, or feel about our families. Each family has the ability to choose which environment selection is best for their family’s needs during a global health crisis. Tough decisions regarding in-person or distance-learning are made, we are understanding of either choice.

Credit: Round Rock ISD

RRISD Communications/Community Relations & Marketing are aware. They didn’t intend to depict students as less than, aimed for a diversity approach, yet this was not the perceived message by many. This mass communication was sent from a district account with our Walsh email/logo. Walsh administration doesn't believe this is representative of how we value and view our Walsh students and families in whichever learning option is chosen. Our goal is to acknowledge this and affirm our commitment and be mindful of how students and families are portrayed at both campus and district levels.

Sincerely,

LaShonda Stinson- Assistant Principal, Equity & Diversity Co-Chair                  
Dr. Brenda Agnew, Campus Principal

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