On Friday morning the Rye Middle School PO Executive Board issued a statement in reaction to the recent hazing events and speaking about "a year long, character-building program" for the coming school year:
"Dear RMS Parents,
As the RMS PO Executive Board we would like to take a moment to state our position on recent events and share our plans to work with Dr. Edwards and her faculty and staff on a year long, character-building program Dr. Edwards calls "Dignity for All" that will begin next fall.
We want to acknowledge the courage of the students and their families in the middle school who stood up against hazing and said "enough." We want them to know we support their being a catalyst for change in our community. We also remain steadfast in our hopes that all of our teenagers, both our middle school and high school students, will come through these tough times with greater compassion, courage and confidence in themselves and in their communities.
Focusing attention on the specifics of recent events has likely made us feel and appear more divided than we truly are. However, we believe there are very few, if any, among us who would not agree that our children deserve to live in a community where they feel safe and secure. Every parent, coach, clergy, youth leader, teacher and school administrator in our community understands this and will need to do their part by offering firm guidance and a loving heart.
We, the RMS PO, take seriously the work ahead of us. It is our intention to be the parent leaders in building a healthier middle school community, one in which our children will feel safe and secure and in which values such as respect and responsibility are reinforced and rewarded. Over the next academic year, look for new student programs like peer mediation and increased parent support groups. The Bully Project will be introduced through Facing History and Ourselves (www.facing.org/) and Heard In Rye will identify national experts to speak with us about hazing.
Hopefully, you will join us in our efforts to ensure a healthier environment for all of our young people.
The RMS PO Executive Board
Jamie Jensen (Co-President Elect)
Lucy Cassidy (Vice President Elect)"