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Independent Voice

Dixon Unified Statement Regarding Social Media Post

Feb 09, 2023 12:00AM ● By DUSD Press Release

On February 1, 2023, at approximately 3:30, a parent reported an inappropriate social media post to the administrative staff at John Knight Middle School.  In the limited investigation that we have been able to conduct as this is being written (5:15 P.M.), we have been able to determine that the post was made on Instagram during lunch earlier in the day, from an account belonging to a seventh-grade student at John Knight.

The nature of the post is racially offensive.  It includes photos of approximately 20 individuals, including at least one staff member.  All of those in the photos are African-American or biracial.  It is clear from the nature of the pictures that these individuals did not know why their picture was being taken.  They are posing and smiling as one would do for a casual picture.

The words included in the post read, “Happy black history month to all of the monkeys”.  These words are superimposed over the images of students and staff of color.

In a statement, Superintendent of Schools Brian Dolan stated:

“Never in my thirty-five years in education have I seen something so hateful, vile, and abhorrent come from one of my students.  It is not possible to describe the devastating impact that this post will have on members of our school community, and many people outside it.  Despite claims stating otherwise, racial hatred and discrimination remain persistent and corrosive forces in our society, and as evidenced today, among students in Dixon Unified.  This is a shameful, shameful moment for which there is no excuse or explanation. As the leader of Dixon Unified, and a person who places great value on each and every one of our students, I apologize for this post.  I also ask that we remember the vast majority of Dixon students who do not think or act in the ways reflected here today.  I know that they will be a part of loving and supporting their friends and classmates, and helping to address the systemic and overt bias, prejudice, discrimination, and hate that we must eliminate in Dixon and all around us.

Based on what we know at this time, this incident will be treated as school-related.  That calls for a complete and timely investigation, the identification of the Education Code Sections that have been violated, and the application of due process for the student alleged to have made the posting.  While a student accused of this type of act maintains privacy rights, the District will communicate everything that it possibly can to ensure that our actions are made known to everyone and that we follow up appropriately in the immediate and long-term future.

The contact for this statement is Brian Dolan, Superintendent of Schools. Email: [email protected]

Given circumstances, he is unlikely to be able to respond to emails this evening while he and other staff are contacting parents of students who were included in the Instagram post.

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