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Lewes, Delaware
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February 21, 1997     Cape Gazette
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February 21, 1997
 

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Conflicts Continued from page 1 occurred. 'q'here wasn't any note attached," he said, and the school had not been able to trace where it came from or who may have cre- ated it. Burrows said he believes that overall, racial relations in the school are harmonious. "I think the kids do a good job with it, ba- sically," he said. "Any time you bring large groups of people to- gether, you're going to have prob- lems, and we're working on those problems." He also said that the school does address all issues relating to racial slurs or misbehaviors through the discipline policy. For example, he said, when administration was ad- vised that a student was wearing a shirt with KKK marked on it, the student was suspended for a viola- tion in the policy that prohibits wearing clothing that is defamato- ry. 'q'he KKK - they're scared peo- ple, because they wear hoods," said Hattie Bull, a teacher. "Fear is a very dangerous thing." Burrows said that when racially derogatory incidents occur, the school handles them through the normal discipline channels. "You're not allowed to wear any- thing detrimental to school cli- mate," said Burrows. In another incident, he said, a student approached him and asked if it was appropriate for him to wear clothing with a patch of con- federate flag on the sleeve. "The student came to us and said, 'Should I wear this or not?'" said Burrows, who said he told the stu- dent he should not. "He took it off," said Burrows. "We're dealing with that at a school like we deal with all kinds of school discipline issues - at the school level." Discipfine addressed "I'm tired of this slapping of the wrist thing," said Trina Brown, a parent from Lewes. "These are serious, serious issues. It has built up level by level. Instead of being proactive in this, they're going to Restaurant Continued from page 14 poses to add an additional 114 dining seats, with an increase on the patio of 20 seats, as he hope s to take over the adjacent space now housing the Breakfast Shack. While his request would reduce the bar to dining area by 5 percent, the bar would still be over the maximum allowable 25 percent of the total square footage. He also planned to add to the present re- stroom facilities, the number of which are not in full compliance. A discussion ensued as to whether Catcher's would lose its grandfathering privilege and have to comply completely with pre- sent cedes should he expand his facifity, even ff it meant that his noncompliance would be reduced by 10 percent. Gollicker replied wait until an explosion." "I believe the administrators at the high school do take issues in- volving defaming or that have racial connotations very serious- ly," said Superintendent Suellen Skeen. "One of the things that has helped us...is the fact that we do have a discipline code and we do follow it." Skeen emphasized that when disciplinary cases go before the board, the board traditionally has upheld the policy. Last week, said Burrows, he met with a group of students who voiced their concerns about racial problems in the school. 'q'hey're concerned about having equal treatment," he said. Issues they specifically mentioned to him were unequal treatment from teachers regarding tardies and name calling or racial slurs amongst students. He said he and the student group reached an agreement that if the students believe penalties for certain offenses are not strict enough, the students should sug- gest changes to him, and he will relay those suggestions to the dis- trict's discipline committee. Burrows said he met with sever- al representatives from local com- muinities on Wednesday, Feb. 19, and they suggested a change to the discipline policy to include Satur- day school. "That's for all kids, regardless of color," said Bur- rOWS. The intent would be to use sat- urday school as an alternative to in-school suspension and address such issues as trust building. Par- ents, too, would be involved. "The pastors have been ex- tremely helpful," said Skeen. "They have been meeting fairly regularly with Dr. Burrows." She said the communication between PRICE and Burrows is strong, but anyone who has a concern - in any of the Cape district buildings - should feel free to contact the building principal. The principals will then forward the concern to the appropriate resource, such as the discipline committee. Skeen said she supports a posi- tive approach to racial issues. "We need to be proactive," she said. "I think the minority staff that he wasn't aware of that possi- bility. As Gollicker didn't have the most up-to-date plans at the meet- ing, he was advised to withdraw his request and resubmit it a later date. Cooper noted that if it's city policy that all grandfathering is lost in changing a nonconforming use, that there's no point in com- ing back with a defect in his plans. City Solicitor Walt Speakman advised that the board would set a bad precedent if exceptions were granted to nonconforming restau- rants if the board says that compli- ance is necessary in order to mod- ify a floor plan. He suggested that the Board of Adjustment should be the next step. Gollicker withdrew his request and said he would reconsider about reapplying in time to be heard at the March 14 meeting. CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, February 21- February 27, 1997 - 15 members have been excellent with keeping the avenues of communi- cation open with the students and with the administrators." Sensitivity training desired Also of importance to the African American community is the need to develop cultural sensi- tivity training for both students and staff. At a recent Cape Hen- lopen School District teacher in- service, the cultural sensitivity seminar was poorly attended, re- ported a teacher. "As long as the cultural diversi- ty training is voluntary, it will not happen," said Bernice Edwards, a Milton resident. The training that has been developed, she said, "is not really transferring out into the community." Brown suggested PRICE ask the district to teach a cultural sen- sitivity class to students. "It should be a credited course," she said. "I'm not against it," said Skeen, "I just don't know how to go about doing it." She agreed that offering a credited course is a pos- sibility, but it would be difficult to make it a mandatory course. "That's not going to be mandat- ed unless it becomes a graduation requirement - but that could be a possibility." Skeen added the dis- trict is already considering a fall teacher inserviee on cultural sen- sitivity, offering conflict resolu- tion training to students, and pro- viding guest speakers for assem- bly programs in each of the schools. Minority staff needed Another issue addressed at the meeting was the poor minority representation in district adminis- trative positions. A member of the audience said, "There's no one for kids to relate to." "Last year we confronted Dr. Skeen...that there's no one repre- senting the minorities," said Rev. George Edwards of Friendship Baptist Church. In particular, he said, the minis- ters who work together in PRICE requested that Esthelda Selby, who was then assistant principal at Rehoboth Elementary School, be permitted to attend Skeen's principal meetings so there would be minority representation at the administrative councils. He said Skeen flatly refused to make ac- commodations so Selby could go. Skeen said her decision was based on what she believed was best for the school site. She said she intentionally kept all assistant principals at the school sites dur- ing the monthly administration meetings so no building would be without an administrator on the premises. "What could it hurt for you to have one minority in this dis- trict?" asked Edwards. Since Sel- by's resignation last year, the dis- trict has hired several administra- tors, none of whom are African American or of any other minority ethnic group. "I wish we did have more," said Skeen. "That has been a priority to this board and the past board, and Karen Cannon [former per- sonnel director] did a very consci- entious job of recruiting minori- ties. Unfortunately, we do not get a lot of minority applicants." "We have been going to the principals, we've been going to the superintendent for the past five years," said Rev. Braven O. Duffle of Bethel AME church. Neither the ministers nor other PRICE members believe there have been results from those at- tempts to address the racial prob- lems. "'As long as we allow adminis- tration, or whomever else is in power, to state the conditions, our hands are tied. If one woman can bring a transportation system down to its knees in the South - look what we can do," said Duffle. Solutions proffered One of PRICE's solutions ad- dressing some of the problems brought to the organization's at- tention, is developing a new com- munication system. Representa- fives from several area communi- ties will act as liaisons between the communities, the school dis- trict and PRICE. At least two members are repre- senting the following communi- ties: Lewes, Milton, Rehoboth Beach, Slaughter Neck, Pine Town and Bell Town. They will make individual contacts with people residing in their areas and pass information to PRICE, who will in turn make contact with ap- propriate school district person- nel. Another solution PRICE of- fered is to continue to encourage parents to become involved with their children's educations. "Our kids don't understand that's what they really have to have," said a community member. "Our kids are important, and they deserve that right to get a good education. The parents have to get involved." "If parents show an interest...they will see a different attitude," said Ardeth Edwards. "A lot of parents don't show any concern until it's their child. If the parents can come together, you might see the children come together." Edwards asked if churches could be involved and recom- mended soliciting for mentors from the congregations. "We can't save the world all at one time," she said. "I guess if we just take a hand - this time next year I know we'll see a difference." Reverend Edwards said that the ministers would be happy to assist any parents who need their sup- port to become involved in the schools. "We do not go in and try to pressure anyone," he said. The ministers are interested only in providing support and guidance. 00ASGEST INDO000 GARAGE SALE Merchant's Attic! TheState's Saturday, February 22rid 9:00 p.m. - 2 p.m. REHOBOTH BEACH ONVENTION HALL, REHOBOTH AVENUE Admission is just one penney  (1) which will be donated to Habitat For Humanity. Coffee and fresh baked goods will be available Sponsored by the Rehoboth Beach/Dewey Beach Chamber of Commerece 227-2233, ext. 11