SEEN Community Update: Racism in Our Schools – Call to Action

Over the weekend, The Daily Gazette published an article about racism within our schoolsThe article references various incidents: one student saying another student will become the next Emmitt Till, racist and vulgar comments about a Black student’s father, as well as others saying slavery was a good thing and it’s sad the institution of slavery doesn’t exist anymore. As verbal threats, abuse, and jokes permeate our schools, The Daily Gazette’s Shenandoah Briere draws attention to the concurrent rise in hate crimes nationally. Words and actions are not separate, but indicative of a larger problem. One cannot throw up their hands in exhaustion or complacency because racism exists in our schools and our community.

In school, interventions and education can address behaviors, and schools can be part of the solution. No, they cannot hold students accountable for words exchanged outside of school on social media, in text groups, or amongst friends. But these abuses are also taking place within school walls, on school properties, and at school events. As one alum recalls, she never went a year without a racist incident in school.

The burden of reporting and speaking up consistently falls on the shoulders of the students of color and their families. Students and families are tired and feel unheard, and need our support.

SEEN and local parents are calling on allies, activists, and impacted families to join in making public comments at the Saratoga Springs Board of Education meeting at 7 p.m. this Thursday, March 30, 2023, at the Saratoga Springs High School, to express concerns or share experiences or your child’s observations of racism and hate speech in the schools.  

If you are uncomfortable with speaking in public, email is another way you can reach out to board members and administrators to share the same.  

Let’s come together in action to support our students, our community, and our schools.

~The SEEN Team

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