Tippecanoe School Corp. hires local NAACP president as new diversity and inclusion coordinator
Lafayette Journal & Courier
LAFAYETTE – Tippecanoe School Corporation has hired a new coordinator for diversity and inclusion.
Sadie Harper-Scott, president of the Lafayette/West Lafayette branch of the NAACP, will serve in the new position, as announced by the school district Monday.
Harper-Scott will be supporting students and staff district-wide on equity, diversity and inclusion issues, according to a release, and will be responsible for developing and monitoring programs to achieve TSC’s “strategic goal of providing a welcoming environment to students of all backgrounds.”
She has previously worked with children as an advocate, probation officer, counselor and case manager.
“Wherever I go, I am in the serving business,” Harper-Scott said. “Diversity to me means everybody, no exceptions. That can be a touchy subject, so how do we get there together?”
TSC has the largest enrollment in the county, with 13,521 students for the 2019-20 school year, according to the Indiana Department of Education. The majority of students attending TSC schools last year were white, at 72.9 percent.
In June, Will Persin, a 2018 McCutcheon High School graduate, began a petition calling for the school district to change curriculum that includes “the history and repercussions of slavery, segregation, redlining, gerrymandering, discrimination and all other forms of systemic racism and oppression in the United States.”
As of Monday, the petition is still active, and has gathered more than 1,400 signatures.
“I look forward to giving students and their families the resources they need to be successful and thrive in our classrooms,” Harper-Scott said in a release. “I plan to listen, learn and help people have collaborative, solution-oriented conversations around issues of equity and diversity. If we can do that, we can all work together and move forward.”
Harper-Scott said she had been approached by TSC multiple times over the past few years, but the incident that made her seriously consider the position was the death of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man who died at the hands of Derek Chauvin, a white Minneapolis police officer in May.
“We consistently review our corporation by evaluating areas of need and identifying opportunities for growth so that we can focus on meaningful improvement,” TSC Superintendent Scott Hanback said in a release. “As a learning institution, we’re heavily focused on helping our students achieve their full potential and discover who they can become.”
“I know what it is to be Black,” Harper-Scott said. “We as a team can work together…I hope what I’ve done has opened the way for other people to meet me as a team and help our young folks. If I can help somebody along the way, that’s what is important to me.”
Harper-Scott will begin in her role this year, pending approval by the TSC Board of School Trustees during its July 8 meeting.
Emily DeLetter is a news reporter for the Journal & Courier. Contact her at (765) 201-8515 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at @EmilyDeLetter.
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