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Webutuck Superintendent Urges Civility Following Presidential Race

Webutuck Schools Superintendent Raymond Castellani.
Webutuck Schools Superintendent Raymond Castellani. Photo Credit: Tom Auchterlonie

AMENIA, N.Y. -- In the wake of the presidential election, Webutuck Schools Superintendent Raymond Castellani is seeking to reassure students not to worry and to behave with each other.

In a letter to parents, Castellani noted the diverse makeup of the student body and its relationship to the rhetoric of the campaign season.

"Regardless of one’s political beliefs or philosophies, this time affords us the opportunity to reflect on many of our processes and procedures here in our schools," he wrote. "The Webutuck C.S.D. serves a rich and diverse school community. Our students speak a number of different languages and have parents or themselves that have come from a number of countries. Media coverage on immigration, ethnicity, gender, and religion has permeated our lives over the last year. Even our youngest students were aware of the polarizing rhetoric."

Castellani also noted that any harassment of students over their backgrounds is unacceptable.

"We are committed to building school communities where all students, families and staff are safe, respected, and engaged," he wrote. "We expect all students to be treated positively and with respect without fear of bullying or intimidation. Our commitment to the well-being of each and every student is stronger than ever. The Webutuck C.S.D. will not tolerate harassing, denigrating or intimidating actions that create a hostile environment."

President-elect Donald Trump, a Republican, defeated rival and Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. Both candidates have residences down in Westchester County.

Castellani's full letter can be read here.

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