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Turpin's diversity day will not happen this year, event canceled after backlash from school board

Critics believe the cancelation is political
Posted at 11:56 AM, May 10, 2022

ANDERSON TOWNSHIP, Ohio — Turpin High School's diversity day will not happen this year, according to a weekly newsletter shared with all Forest Hills School District students and staff.

Earlier this month, the school board voted 4-0 to put the event on hold after deciding it will no longer happen during school hours, use school resources or be paid for by taxpayers.

It was technically rescheduled for May 18 but Friday the district canceled this year's event.

"At this time, FHSD staff have determined they will not be able to organize an event that meets the newly instituted board expectations before the end of the school year, so it will not be rescheduled for this year," Forest Hill School District Communications Coordinator Josh Bazan said in a statement.

The decision comes one month after the long-running event was postponed by the school board so parents could review the agenda and speakers to sign permission slips.

Board member Leslie Rasmussen said she refused to vote. She accused her fellow board members of lying about their reasoning for interfering with the student driven event.

"They gave their reasons," Rasmussen said. "They said it's full of Critical Race Theory and social justice. And that's it. They have made this political."

Students who were part of the planning process of the event said the vote was a huge disappointment.

“It's just been a whole disregard of the effort put in by students and that passion that we have,” Turpin senior Casey Lupariello said. “We want to make this event happen and succeed."

The event has been held for several years and is described as a day to highlight cultural and racial issues. Students must have their parents' permission to attend. The event is for junior and senior students and is optional. It includes activities and guest speakers.

According to the National Education Center for Statistics, the demographic of the Forest Hill School District is 90% white, 3% black, 3% Hispanic and 2% Asian.

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