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SALEM School leader urges tolerance



Published: Tue, September 18, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



The panel agreed to spend about $20,000 on new textbooks.

By NORMAN LEIGH

VINDICATOR SALEM BUREAU

SALEM -- Schools Superintendent Dr. David Brobeck says he's proud of the way the district's staff and pupils reacted to last week's terrorist attacks.

In remarks during Monday's school board meeting, Brobeck said he is hopeful that pupils won't be engulfed in the anger and prejudice that has been present in the United States after the assaults. He urged tolerance as the country tries to come to grips with the atrocities.

Brobeck is cautioning pupils not to blame Muslims or someone who may appear to have Middle Eastern ancestry for what happened in New York, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania.

"We don't want our kids singling anyone out," Brobeck said.

His comments come as attacks on Arab-Americans, Muslims and others are being reported nationwide.

So far, no violence, anger or inappropriate remarks have been reported in the city school district, Brobeck said.

He is urging staff members to be watchful for such sentiments.

"We want to help them avoid prejudice and not to jump on that bandwagon. We don't want to hate. That's what the other side did," Brobeck said.

New books: In other business, the school board approved the purchase of nearly 400 new English textbooks for the seventh and eighth grades.

The new books will cost about $18,168.

Personnel matters: School board members approved hiring Debbie Altenhof to fill the new position of high school guidance counselor secretary.

Altenhof, who moves to the post from a job with the school district's cafeteria staff, will be paid $9.83 an hour.

Brobeck said the position was created to provide better guidance services to students.

Her duties will include preparing grade transcripts and obtaining scholarship information.

The school district is trying to find a full-time school nurse. The district has been using a part-time nurse since school opened this year.

Brobeck explained that the county health department previously was contracted for about $30,000 annually to provide a nurse. A nationwide nursing shortage has prevented the health department from filling the post this year, Brobeck said.

The district may try to hire a nurse directly by paying more than the county healt h department was paying, he added.




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