Open letter regarding the MHS lunch situation

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Dear students, District families and community members,

It is clear that the controversy over the Jesus Lunches has created significant debate, concern, and even anger over the past few days from many perspectives. It is important to remember that as Americans we can, and should, embrace different views in a spirit of tolerance and dialogue. With this in mind, I call upon students, parents, and our community to remain calm and understanding.

The District is currently asking our legal counsel to communicate and consult with the legal counsel of the Jesus Lunch organizers. The question at hand is whether or not MCPASD has responsibility for the supervision of Fireman’s Park during school hours based on our 16-year lease with the City of Middleton.

The District has understood over the past 16 years that this is a District responsibility, and that school rules and District policy must apply. In the case of the Jesus Lunch, the adults organizing the lunches contend that this is a public park and is not governed by the lease we have with the city.

To be clear, MCPASD is not interested in litigation, and is committed to working collaboratively to find a solution that meets the needs of all parties. We are interested in thoughtful and respectful dialogue. We do not intend to interfere with the Jesus Lunch, and we will continue to reach out to organizers to find an amicable resolution in the near future in the best interests of all of our students.

My highest priority is to ensure that our school campus is a safe and welcoming place for all of our students. I call upon students, parents, and community members to also embrace this idea.

Dr. Donald Johnson, Superintendent