Smithtown schools administrator who led district equity efforts steps down

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A Smithtown Central School District administrator who has helped guide the district’s diversity and equity work will be moving on to a job with an education foundation.

Jennifer Bradshaw, assistant district superintendent for education and administration, will serve as an international curriculum consultant at the World Leading Schools Association Foundation, Smithtown Superintendent Mark Secaur said in a statement on Friday. by e-mail through a district spokesperson. “We wish her good luck and thank her for her 19 years of dedicated service to the Smithtown school community.”

Bradshaw had been criticized by some district parents and others who confused district equity work with Critical Race Theory or CRT, a body of academic thought broadly defined by its emphasis on themes of exploitation. racial. Shawn Farash, a leader of the conservative Long Island Loud Majority group on Friday tweeted with approval Bradshaw’s departure.

District spokesman Michael Ganci said in an email that Bradshaw’s departure “had nothing to do” with outside pressure. Bradshaw did not respond to an interview request. Secaur did not immediately accept a request for an interview.

District officials have repeatedly stated that they are not teaching CRT but are implementing what Secaur in an email to Newsday this month called “inclusive practices that encourage a sense of community and opportunities for all students “. Parents said the topics included race but also LGBTQ people, special education and different cultures.

Bradshaw has helped guide this work through his leadership of the district equity team, said Amy Fortunato, team member and district resident.

A webpage from the Equity Team states that its more than 100 members “meet regularly to discuss and develop ways to meet the needs of all students by making their voices heard, by making our schools more inclusive, by embracing diversity, by providing students with what they need to thrive, and by ensuring that our program is representative of the world around us. “

The team is working to achieve its goals, including increasing the diversity of district staff and developing a “more culturally relevant curriculum,” according to the webpage.

Fortunato said Bradshaw was “a great educator… It seems like a huge loss for us”.

WLSA hosts international educator conferences and operates student exchange programs, according to its website.


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