January 8, 2018
Dear Shaker Families, Faculty and Staff, 

Like many of you, I have been inspired by the courage of the countless women and men who have stepped out of the shadows of sexual assault and harassment and said the words "me too." On Sunday, Oprah Winfrey---one of the most recognizable entertainers in the world--- made a powerful statement at the Golden Globe awards ceremony that truly resonated with me. Her words were so powerful that I had my daughter listen to her speech. If you missed it, I encourage you to watch it here.

Oprah Winfrey's words, and the words and actions of so many others, provide us an opportunity to reflect on our own values. As a result, I want to publicly state that we will never tolerate or condone any form of harassment or assault to our young people in the Shaker Schools. It is our duty and responsibility to protect our young people, and it is a duty we take very seriously. Let me be clear: Harassment, bullying and intimidation will not be tolerated in the Shaker Schools. I stand with our young women at the High School and throughout our community who continue to advocate for their rights and protection. In Shaker, we believe that our young people's voices are valued and have power. That is why we will not only listen to your concerns, but will also continue to work with you to provide a safe learning environment. Our faculty, staff and administrators are here to serve our young people, and we hope that you will inform us if you ever feel unsafe, violated or simply uncomfortable by behaviors observed in our hallways, classrooms, or school functions. Every Shaker employee is required to participate in harassment training each year. Our District policies reflect our steadfast commitment to protect our students and staff.

We must stand by our young women and ensure that we do not allow another young girl or women have to say the words "me too."

Here are some links to supports for young people who have experienced assault:

Dr. Gregory C. Hutchings, Jr.
Superintendent of Schools  
Shaker Heights City School District  | 15600 Parkland Drive |  Shaker Heights | OH | 44120