VALPARAISO | Residents who want to pledge opposition to discrimination can now do so online.
A Statement of Support for a Diverse City, created by Valparaiso's Advisory Human Relations Council, was posted online for residents to sign electronically at http://chn.ge/1lm7JWn.
The statement was created in response to racially derogatory comments aimed at minorities in the city.
Residents who sign it pledge opposition to discrimination, including harassment, based on race, color, national origin, gender, disability, religion, age, sexual orientation and socioeconomic status.
In another matter, the council discussed sending a representative to an Implicit Bias Training session, which seeks to reduce the biases that contribute to racial disparities in juvenile justice.
Porter County is among eight counties in the state participating in the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative. One of the goals is to reduce the disproportionate number of minority youths who come into contact with the justice system and serve time at detention centers.
Valparaiso Police Chief Michael Brickner said a school resource officer would be a good candidate to attend the training, scheduled for March 6 in Indianapolis.
The council also expressed its support for a recent decision by the Valparaiso Community Schools board to approve an agreement with Lumenus USA that could place up to 30 Chinese students in the high school graduating class of 2015.
Valparaiso Community Schools Assistant Superintendent Jim Doane said there had been some opposition to the plan by people who thought it could create competition for high school students. He encouraged members to attend the School Board's meeting Feb. 6.
Council Chair Ivan Bodensteiner said Valpo's Big Idea Workshops are set for next month, and the council should consider sharing its ideas on human relations issues.