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Minority task force adds facilitator, students

TERI VANCE

High school students and a facilitator were added Wednesday evening to the task force assigned to promote minority achievement within the Carson City School District.

Debby Loesch-Griffin of Virginia City was selected to mediate the group of parents, school officials and community leaders meeting to discuss issues facing diverse student populations.

“I was impressed by the fact that they were able to express critical ideas,” Loesch-Griffin said. “They are really working hard to establish a purpose. Tonight was really about solidifying the group.”

The committee was formed in response to parents’ concerns that students were being treated unfairly at Carson High School because of their race.

The charge of the committee is to present resolutions for any covert or overt racism that exists within the school district, which has a history of tension between American Indian and Hispanic students.

Five students from the high school also joined in the discussion Wednesday.

“I think that it is a big step in coming closer to solving the problem,” said Kayla Garcia. “I feel like involving the students was important because it gets us in the loop.”

Other students remained skeptical.

“I think this task force is good and everything that all these people are trying to collaborate,” said Gracie Booth, 17. “My concern is, what do they plan on accomplishing? What was their original goal, and what is their course to get there?”

Superintendent Mary Pierczynski said she hopes the facilitator will bring the committee closer to answering those questions.

“A facilitator can help bring the whole group together without any bias,” she said. “This is a neutral force in trying to move forward. People are really listening to one another.”

The students also set up a meeting between themselves and other students to talk about racial attitudes among their peers.

The committee will meet again Jan. 7. It is expected to report solutions to the Carson City School Board during its March 23 meeting.

Contact Teri Vance at tvance@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1272.