Greendale School District, community come together to heal racial wounds

NOW: Greendale School District, community come together to heal racial wounds

GREENDALE (CBS 58) - A local school district that has struggled with race issues is hearing from the public.

The Greendale School District held its first public forum since accusations of racism surfaces late last year.

The meeting was a very different tone from meetings in the past that have gotten heated.

More than 100 people showed up Monday.

The group was broken up into small groups and people had a chance to share stories about how they’ve experienced race relations in Greendale.

Superintendent Dr. Gary Kiltz admitted at the start of the meeting that there is racism in the district, and they want to tackle the problem.

He expected only about 50 people to show but is happy to see many more take part.

 “Excited to see the turnout we have tonight, certainly didn’t expect this many but certainly happy to see our citizens, community members, students want to get involved in having a voice,” said Dr. Kiltz.

Diannia Merriett took part in the meeting, her daughter was called a racial slur late last year.

Merriett has been a vocal critic of the district, accusing them of not listening to parent’s concerns and not doing enough to fix race relations in the village.

But she says she is hopeful there will be change after Monday’s meeting.

“I feel like finally they are listening, they’ve heard our concerns and this community forum is a witness too now that the community also wants to be a part of changing and making this community more welcoming,” said Merriett.

Dr. Kiltz said this is the first in what will be many steps to fight racism in the district.

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