I attended the Public Forum at LHS last night. I was pleased to see so many students in attendance and impressed with their willingness to speak and ask question. The following is from a junior student who was the first to address the panel. I was very impressed with her passion, personality and willingness to stand up for her beliefs , along with her words. I asked her if she would send me her words to share and she did along with this note.
Thank you for coming tonight. I’ve attached the statement from the forum tonight. However, I feel it is necessary for me to point out that while I wrote the speech, it was an the result of ideas and discussions I have had with my peers who feel the similarly about the high school and so I believe most of the credit belongs to them.
All the best,
I am making this statement on behalf of all the students at Lowell High to whom this “incident” has affected on a level much greater than the personal. We, as a community are disappointed, but not surprised with regard to the racist texts and social media usage at Lowell High. It is important to note that this is bigger than a class election, bigger than Anye, bigger than the students suspended, possibly even bigger than Lowell High. The texts are accumulatively representative of the casual and institutional racism that is embedded the the culture of the student body, and Lowell High— as both an educational institution and a pillar of the community. But, in all turmoil, there is an upside. Lowell High now has the opportunity to set an example, not only locally, but nationally, in the public school system. We, as a student body are asking Lowell High to make a commitment to the students of color, to diversify the curriculum and take steps to educate all students on white privilege, what it means to be a person of color in our community (as well as nationally and globally) and to define what it means to live harmoniously in such a diverse community. In doing so, Lowell High will not only be able to move forward but provide a sustainable solution that will prevent something like this from happening again. However, in the event that a similar situation does occur, we request that when punishment is administered by law or otherwise, the language used and events that take place will not only be looked at, but analyzed, and people of color will be considered and included in the decisions made. We also ask that in the analyzing of the language or event, the administration considers role reversal. In relevance to this situation, had ANY minority threatened a white student’s life on the premise of race, the suspension would not only have been longer, but more severe. Finally I ask you look at yourselves. If I have not made the problem clear, it should be now. A white majority panel discussing racism doesn’t sit well in my stomach; it reminds me of the way the staff fails to mimic our diverse community and leaves a battery acid bitterness on my tongue. Lowell High has an opportunity to deal with the issues that affect high schools in diverse communities nationwide, to be a leader, an innovator; not for the sake of diversity, but for the future of students, and the legacy and integrity which Lowell High holds in such high esteem.