The Bloomingtonian reached out to the MCCSC after a report by the Herald-Times which quoted unnamed students alleging apparent anti-trans bullying in the wake of a recent social media kitty boxes in classrooms experiment.
An unnamed student told the HT that a some students made “barking and meowing” sounds towards trans students, and described the experiment as “transphobic.”
The Bloomingtonian asked the MCCSC about the alleged sounds made toward the student, and if the MCCSC would be making a statement, and got the following response after being instructed to submit a formal media information request:
For Immediate Release
To: Media Outlets
From: Monroe County Community School Corporation
Date: March 22, 2023
RE: Bloomington High School North Student Social Experiment
(Bloomington, IN) On Monday, March 20, 2023 the following statement was issued by Bloomington High School North Principal, Matt Stark, regarding the staged photo of a litter box at Bloomington High School North:
“Today there was a disruptive student social experiment involving a litter box and how the spread of misinformation can go viral. The teacher-approved experiment was not authorized by the administration. Obviously, litter boxes are not something that are part of school for a variety of reasons, including public health. Additionally, based upon already-existing misinformation on this subject, having a classroom project further embellish and amplify this erroneous story creates an impression for which we are not proud and for which we apologize.
We appreciate any help you can give in dispelling rumors and calming the responses that are occurring on social media and beyond. Again, I am truly sorry that this social media post was created. It does not represent who we are at North and what we strive to
Additionally, on Tuesday, March 21, 2023, the MCCSC Director of Educational Technology and Communications, Alexis Harmon, provided the below statement in response to a media request.
I am providing [the statement] by Matt Stark, BHSN Principal. This statement was following the incident on Monday, March 20, 2023. As stated there, this activity and the imagery is not appropriate and was not approved by administration.
All our schools strive to provide a supportive and inclusive environment. We are a bully-free campus and have very strict procedures for addressing reported bullying. If a student experiences or witnesses bullying, they should immediately report it to a school administrator. “See something. Say something. ”MCCSC supports the autonomy of our teachers, and we know they work hard to provide meaningful instruction and lessons each day in every class. In-class assignments are not pre-approved by the administration. However, professional development and conversations are ongoing so that there is exists deeper critical analysis and reflection of the lessons that are
At this point, this matter remains under review and no further comments are appropriate at this time.
The Monroe County Community School Corporation (MCCSC) serves nearly 11,000 students from diverse populations in 23 schools in Monroe County, Indiana. MCCSC is a leader in STEM and EARTH curricula, encompasses a Performing Arts Academy, International Baccalaureate schools, Dual Immersion programs, multiple Career Pathways, a Career Center, as well as numerous College Credit opportunities to prepare students towards college and career readiness. Our commitment, as we educate tomorrow’s leaders, is to Engage, Empower, and Educate all students in a world-class learning environment empowering them to maximize their educational success in becoming productive, responsible global citizens.
Communications Officer, MCCSC
Meanwhile, the Indiana legislature passed a law Monday that will deny minor’s gender affirming healthcare by making it illegal.