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Lewiston Porter School District holds diversity and inclusion town hall

Posted at 11:16 PM, Apr 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-07 23:16:31-04

YOUNGSTOWN, N.Y. (WKBW) — Former students, current students and parents voiced their concerns at a Lewiston Porter School District town hall Thursday evening.

"I just wanted to be able to speak out tonight in hope there would be a better path for students of color in the future,” former Lewiston Porter student Lauren Eger said. “Ever since elementary school, middle school, high school, it was just relentless racial insensitivity at this school."

The town hall comes almost a month after a racially charged incident at Lewiston Porter Middle School.

Former students like Lauren Eger said that's not the first or last time something like that has happened. She said a staff member even made a racially charged comment towards her.

"I felt that I wasn't accepted by the student body, or the staff and I had just completely given up," Eger said.

Lewiston Porter Schools Superintendent Paul Casseri said the school staff and administration are trying to make a difference.

"We need to start a conversation,” Casseri said. “A dialogue about these issues and then we need to continue the dialogue and follow through."

Casseri added that inclusion doesn't stop at race.

"Its students focused on gender identity, students with a disability, it’s just students who are different,” Casseri said. “We want to grow and be better for all of our students."

At the town hall, Casseri reassured parents and students that every issue will be addressed.

"It’s a good start,” Eger said. “I feel like it offers a lot of closure for students."