Henrico school leaders unveil more action following offensive Short Pump video
HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - Henrico School leaders are taking even more action following the offensive Short Pump locker room video that NBC12 was the first to tell you about.
Thursday night, parents continued to sound off before the school board, saying more needs to be done to prevent the inappropriate behavior from ever happening again.
The head of the Henrico School Board broke her silence to let the public know leaders are taking action and to address the question: why so long to speak out?
"We've been listening, and I think that's also what was more important, because no one had answers right then. You need to find out what was going on," Chair Beverly Cocke said.
She finally sat down with NBC12 three weeks after we first showed you the controversial SnapChat video involving Short Pump Middle School football players.
"I'm just as disgusted and appalled as everyone else who saw that video," Cocke said.
Since then, there have been community meetings, an assistant coach fired, even an active police investigation as the entire team forfeited the season. But no interviews with school leaders...until now.
"Instead of just jumping without knowing the process or knowing what's taking place...[it] would not have been smart or the right thing to do. We need to do due diligence," Cocke added.
Now school leaders are unveiling a new plan to take even more action.
Henrico Schools will now hire a Director of Equity and Diversity to work in the Central Office. The district will also create a community task force to make ongoing recommendations as it considers partnering with outside groups who are offering training services. Henrico also wants to strengthen its partnership with the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities.
"One of the things I learned from the Short Pump incident is....We need to concentrate having that program in more schools and not just the East End or the Brookland District but we need to look into the West End too," she said.
That means extending training to students at Short Pump Middle School.
"I know people wanted us to make some changes and do things right away but I think the board and speaking as the Chair, we wanted to do things in a thoughtful way and you wanted to make sure it was going to last," Cocke said.
The district plans to begin advertising for the new diversity executive right away.
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