This is kind of interesting, as iNACOL faced this same issue back in 2010 and didn’t absolutely nothing about it (see Attending The Virtual School Symposium In Arizona???, Issues Of Diversity Preconference To Include AZ State Superintendent & More Anti-Ethnic News From Arizona And VSS 2010 Considerations). I guess it is better late than never for this organization to become “highly principled”…
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As a highly principled organization at iNACOL, we are in a position in which we must take a stand and we have no option but to move our conference from North Carolina.
As a result of anti-LBGTQ legislation in North Carolina (HB2, informally known as the bathroom bill), iNACOL has made the decision to move the iNACOL Symposium 2017 from Charlotte, North Carolina to Orlando, Florida on October 23-25, 2017.
Here is the difficult situation we find ourselves in:
iNACOL seeks to organize the iNACOL Symposium in different locations each year. We chose Charlotte, North Carolina for the iNACOL Symposium 2017 three years ago (2014), before the idea of a law such as HB2 was even being discussed, let alone enacted. Since the HB2 law took effect in 2016, we remained hopeful that it would be repealed. We have contacted the North Carolina Senate and House leadership, but it appears the repeal of HB2 is unlikely to happen in the immediate future and certainly not in the timeframe we need to move our event to another location. The legislature went into special session in December 2016 with the purpose of fixing this and repealing HB2 and failed to do so.
iNACOL itself is driven by the values of learning, respect, equal access, educational equity and excellence. North Carolina’s passage of HB2 and its discriminatory nature have substantially changed the circumstances under which we signed the contract in 2014. Therefore, we have decided that we must take a stand at considerable costs to our organization.
As you can imagine, finding an alternative venue in such a short team is no small feat. We realize that it may be inconvenient for those of you who put the earlier October date on your calendar. But we hope our supporters, the entire community, and leaders in the field will join us in standing up and supporting our work. We ask you to join us in considering the principles driving our decision.
We are on a journey focused on doing what is best for students and driving innovations toward equity. We look forward to seeing you in Orlando and working together to transform education toward learner-centered, personalized models for all of America’s kids.
President and CEO
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