To Dr. Steven Cook:
On behalf of the Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations Board of Directors, we express our appreciation, gratitude and support of your outstanding statement in the Aug. 3 Coeur d’Alene Press that you sent to all the parents and employees of the Coeur d’Alene School District plus to the wider community. Your eloquent and sincere letter should be embraced by us all as you acknowledged and apologized for the circumstances surrounding the district’s mishandling of the vandalism that occurred in early June that included a deplorable message of hate.
Not only did you have the integrity to accept responsibility for the error, but you have committed the Coeur d’Alene School District to the most constructive and meaningful steps in moving forward — including working with law enforcement to investigate the incident; changes to the district’s chain of command in reporting such future incidents; a clear and strong statement/position condemning hate speech or hate crimes and a zero tolerance for such acts; review of your curriculum that will enhance the understanding and appreciation of human rights, tolerance, and the need to teach the moral, ethical and legal requirements that each person has the right to respect and dignity; create a culture of kindness, empathy and acceptance; and additional training for teachers and staff around this noble cause.
Our organization has worked for more than 37 years not only in this region but across America championing these moral and ethical precepts.
When this issue arose several days ago, we received a call from your staff requesting input from us, plus we are so pleased that a meeting has been scheduled later this month with you and your key administrators with us for further discussion. We stand by to assist in anyway you think helpful.
Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations