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Principal Placed On Leave Pending Investigation

Updated: Nov 3, 2023

Monday October 9th was Indigenous Peoples Day. This has been proclaimed as a National Holiday. While there was no mail service and banks were closed, schools remained open. At Siletz Valley School a group of students felt it wasn't right that school was open on this important day and decided to walk out of class in protest.

The walkout did not sit well with Siletz Valley School principal Casey Jackson. The next day the students involved in the walkout were brought together and chastised for their actions. Siletz Valley School Board Chair and Mayor Willie Worman said the situation was not handled well and the students reported they felt shamed for doing what they believed in doing to bring awareness of their frustration about the Holiday not being recognized by the school.

Woreman also met with the students and told them that he supported and appreciated their desire to bring about change and call attention to a cause important to them. He said he is willing to work with them in the future to do a protest in a way to reach more people and help bring about eduction about their cause in a positive way. He also encouraged them to come together before the school board to express their concerns, and ask formally for the board to consider Indigenous Peoples Day as a recognized day off from school for next year.

On Tuesday October 24th around 28 students and over 50 parents attended the Siletz Valley School board meeting to express concerns over how the walkout was handled and to advocate for the board to consider Indigenous Peoples Day as a recognized school holiday. The board went into an executive session and afterward voted to place Jackson on paid administrative leave.

They also voted to hire an attorney and bring in an investigator to put fresh eyes on the complaints lodged regarding Jackson. There was also a motion made to awknowledge Indigenous Peoples Day as a school holiday also to recognize Orange Shirt Day, a National Day of truth and reconcilliation, on the calendar as permenant holidays recognized by the school board.

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