Annual Diversity Day event postponed at Greater Cincinnati school

Published: Apr. 1, 2022 at 5:20 AM EDT|Updated: Apr. 1, 2022 at 5:43 AM EDT
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - An annual “Diversity Day” event at a Greater Cincinnati high school was abruptly postponed this week.

Concerns were raised and the district acknowledges parents were not provided an advance list of speakers scheduled to address students and specific topics.

Diversity Day was planned for most of the school day Thursday for juniors and seniors at Turpin High School in Anderson Township.

Leaders at the Forest Hills School District say the event has been going on for several years and students are required to get permission from their parents to attend.

But they say this year they concede they didn’t provide all the information ahead of time that they should have.

According to the permission slip that students were required to turn in before participating, Diversity Day is devoted to increasing understanding and awareness of the rich ethnic makeup of the nation.

There would be activities, discussions and breakout sessions with guest speakers.

FOX19 NOW spoke with parents Thursday who were upset by the postponement.

Natalie Hastings says Diversity Day has been on the school event calendar.

“It could have been addressed before the snacks and supplies had been dropped off at school and before, you know, wasting the time of all those non-profit leaders who had committed to giving their time for this,” she said.

She also said:

”Imagine how this would be if you were an immigrant in our school district. Imagine how this would feel if you’re someone who is a minority in our school district?”

In an interview with our news partner at the Cincinnati Enquirer, School Board Member Leslie Rasmussen said the board received about 15 emails from people concerned about the event and most emails stated Diversity Day is essentially “critical race theory,” something she said she does not believe.

The district issued a statement to FOX19 NOW regarding its reasoning for the last-minute delay:

“We regret that the event has been postponed. The district’s practice for guest speakers requires staff to provide families with information about the speaker and topics being covered in advance of the event. Unfortunately, that did not happen in this case. We are working to reschedule the event.”

FOX19 NOW will continue to update this developing story.

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