Sylvania schools embraces growing diversity

Sylvania schools embraces growing diversity

SYLVANIA, OH (WTOL) - The hallways still look the same. There are lockers, classrooms and even art on the walls. But it's the students who walk the halls that are changing.

That's why administrators at Sylvania School District worked to collaborate to bring this cultural awareness training to the teachers.

"Breaking the word down.Fear is False Evidence Appearing Real," said Chester Trail, Sylvania Schools Diversity Specialist.

We often fear what we don't know or understand, this is what Trail believes. Hundreds of educators from Sylvania schools spent the day breaking down the free of the unknown.

"That difference doesn't mean bad," Trail said. "That diversity simply means we are unique. Our difference make us unique not superior or inferior, just unique."

The unknown to the district, is adjusting to more diversity. Over the last four years the district has become much more culturally diverse especially in the Arabic-speaking population.

Farah Sammouri knows. Her daughters started school at Stranahan Elementary four years ago. She witnessed the need for someone to help other Muslim families.

"Make bridge between the families and the school and the staff," said Sammouri. "Help the kids with their environment, adapt to a new environment, to the new culture they are in."

Some of the families Sammouri works with are Syrian Refuges who need a lot of support.

Sylvania native and fourth grade teacher Austin Schmidt has seen the change first hand. He said this type of training is a must in order to support students of all backgrounds.

"As a public school system we need to do a better job in making those different cultures and be more diverse and make them feel more welcome in our society," Schmidt said.

The training and education won't stop Monday. The 500 plus teachers will continue to learn and grow in cultural diversity as their hallways continue to change.

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