From a Gem of the Sound Citizen Reporter
Good evening Highline School Board Members. I want to share a School Board Testimony delivered by a 15-year-old high school student in another district. It was heartbreaking, and I hope such things are not happening in our schools.
On the first day of school in the fall, the principal gave a heartfelt speech about equality and standing together. He began to list various races expressing how much they matter and how important they are but did not once mention the race or identity that reflected the young speaker or half the students in his class. This student asked the board if they could imagine how uncomfortable it was to be characterized only by skin color on the first day of school and feel that he was somehow wrong just because of how he looked.
He mentioned there were political signs all over the school about specific races, sexual orientations, and perspectives that matter. When he questioned why the equity statement couldn’t represent all students, he was told that he was outlandish and offensive for asking the question. When asked why, he was told, “Whites have a pretty good situation right now.”
He went on: “So is that not racism? Disregarding my question merely because of the color of my skin? To be honest, after enduring a year of the people in charge telling me that I’m a racist and I’m privileged and pointing out our irreversible differences, I’ve never noticed race more. It’s becoming the first thing I notice when I meet someone, which has never before been the case. RHS administration confidently told me that RHS students and staff are happy with their Equity Statement, but from my experience and talking with other students, this is not the case. I know many kids who disagree with their teachers but are too scared to stand up because they’re worried their grades will be docked…[They] adjust their schoolwork to reflect an acceptable opinion to secure a good grade. I’ve been approached by multiple teachers who have told me in private…they agree with me… but they can’t say it…[publicly]… for fear of being disciplined by the administration… or losing their jobs. There is clearly only one way to think in this district.” He closed by saying he was withdrawing from the school to focus on getting an education without such inequitable treatment.
This principal has made a mess of these students’ and teachers’ lives. What kind of nightmarish vision would make a person do this to students and teachers? Where is the focus on academic achievement so all students can reach their full potential and be excellent readers, thinkers, writers, mathematicians, scientists, and artists? It’s heartbreaking to hear this story. How sad for all the students of all colors left in this divisive, toxic, bullying ideology, not liberated by real education. Again, I hope this has not crept into our schools; that all students are being treated equally like children of God, not divided from each other by mere appearances. Thank you.