Hill hosts Davis County School reps for town hall

  • Published
  • By 2nd Lt. Taylor Ferry
  • 75th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah – Hill AFB leadership hosted representatives from the Davis County School District Jan. 11 for a town hall meeting to address concerns of Hill’s service members, civilians, and families on racial discrimination, bullying, special needs, accountability, and the path forward for the district.

Following the U.S. Department of Justice’s findings of racial discrimination within the district last year, Col Jenise Carroll, 75th Air Base Wing commander, asked the representatives to speak with members of Team Hill, many with children in the district. 

“We are going to make sure Airmen and their families are taken care of,” said Carroll. “A strong partnership has already started and will be made stronger from tonight. I count on Team Hill’s resiliency while we work through this issue as a community and make this right.”

Representatives included Davis School District Superintendent Reid Newey, Davis County Commissioner Bob Stevenson, and Davis School District Assistant Superintendents Dr. Jackie Thompson and John Zurbuchen.

“You are the Hill Air Force Base family. We are the Davis School District Family. We are going to connect that bridge and build those relationships stronger,” said Thompson. “We want to make sure each and every one of our children feel safe, valued, respected, and included in our schools.”

The town hall allowed Team Hill members to share their family’s personal experiences with racial bias, discrimination, and school policy with direct responses and follow-ups from the district’s top leadership.

One of the areas that was brought up was children with special needs. Hill AFB is designated an expedited Exceptional Family Member Program location, a military installation in the U.S. that has been identified as having robust network of services, but there were a lot of concerns on the safety and care special needs children receive in local schools.

In addition, the district representatives laid out their planned diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives, including an increase in cultural liaison officers, diversity hiring, and training for school staff.

The base and school district partnership will continue with regular meetings to discuss goals and progress.

“This partnership has always been there,” said Leslie Flynn, Hill AFB school liaison. “We are just looking renewed focus on the partnership to enhance our community, our base, and the quality of life of our children.”

The goal of the Hill’s school liaison is to assist families with information, resources, and referrals regarding local school districts, charter, public, private, virtual, Exceptional Family Member Program, and homeschooling. For academic or school concerns, parents are encouraged to contact the liaison office 75FSS.HillSchool.Liaison@us.af.mil.