Yard white supremacy: Central Pa. highschool college students take to social media to struggle racism within the classroom | Thursday Morning Espresso

Backyard white supremacy: Central Pa. high school students take to social media to fight racism in the classroom | Thursday Morning Coffee

Pennsylvania schools are preparing to reopen after closing in March. Source: WikiMedia Commons

Good Thursday morning, fellow seekers.

If you've heard of it Biglerville, Pa.This could be because you are on your way to Gettysburg battlefield in rural Adams County. Just a stone's throw from the Maryland State Line, the tiny suburb of Just 1,222 people is also the home of National Apple Museum. After all, Adams County is an apple and stone fruit country.

But now it's known for something else: passionate students who use social media to fall back on what they say is decades of institutional racism. And they want school officials act immediately.

Last week the students "Racism at Biglerville High School" Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook Accounts, as stated by the Pennsylvania Youth Congress, an LGBTQ advocacy and civil rights group.

“Racist utterances, ridicule, threats and physical violence were a regular and uncontrolled part of the EU Biglerville High School Community for generations, ”said the group in their statement. “The punishment of white students who may commit violence and harassment has been deemed extremely lenient. Black and brown students were often blamed or criminalized for the violence they experienced. "

In its statement, the group included anonymously sourced stories of racism and harassment that color students experienced at the school. To be very clear, they are heartbreaking.

You can read some of them after the jump.

  • "Two boys on the bus yelling" Go back where you come from, n *****! ". You were only suspended from school for two days."
  • “I was in physical education class and missed the ball. One student said, "Damn stupid!" I knew both gym teachers heard and they did nothing to help me. I told another teacher that it happened, but nothing was done about it. I felt different from everyone else, like I was alone in a room full of my peers. "
  • “They got my phone number and they kept calling me and saying things like, 'Go and get some apples.' They said, 'Mexicans don't have fathers. "It really hurt me inside because I didn't have a father around. I used to think I didn't have a father because I was Mexican."
  • "A 10-year-old girl received a video message from a coworker that said, 'Shut up, you stupid Mexican, and go back to your own country, damn it.'"
  • "A group of white students posed for a photo last year with enthusiastic smiles and a sign that read 'Black Lives DO NOT Matter.' One of those students is currently studying criminal justice at a nearby public university because this behavior is celebrated and not accountable was pulled Biglerville High SchoolThe next generation of police and victim services may continue to have staff who believe that black lives don't matter. "

One student spoke anonymously and reported the effects of these statements and behaviors on her.

“The administration never helped me when I was harassed by racially motivated white students. I had to fight them so they would stop bothering me, and then I was punished, "the student said in the statement. “The teachers told me that now that I was struggling, I would never go to college, and they told me my life was over. I believed you. They allowed white students to tear me down because I was black and then accused me of surviving. "

Biglerville High School is as small as his hometown. The school has just 500 students, about 70 percent of whom are white, 27 percent Latinx (the area has a large number of migrant workers), and 1 percent black, the group said US Department of Education demographic data.

In its statement, the group, which includes alumni, said they had been harassed for what they said. The harassment, which includes the group a photo is being sent of George Floyds Body as it was dying is as terrible and disgusting as the racist attacks it cataloged.

The student group has issued a list of the change requests. It contains:

  • “(Issuing) a zero tolerance policy against racism for all students, athletes, employees, teachers and administrators.
  • “(Implementation) harsh minimum sentences for students who are racially directed against their peers and throw them out of sports teams.
  • “A public apology to the color officials' students who were not protected and the community they were supposed to educate, including an admission of what happened.
  • “(Elaboration) of a new code of conduct with SPECIFIC guidelines against racial and cultural discrimination.
  • “(Layoff) employees responsible for actively promoting white supremacy at any point in history and holding certain employees accountable for failing to protect color students from discrimination and racialism.

Published in a statement too PennLive, Wesley Doll, Superintendent of Upper Adams School District, which includes the high school, said, “We take the concerns of our community very seriously and do not tolerate any form of racist behavior, nor do we condone the behavior recently shared on various social media accounts. The experiences described do not reflect the values ​​of our school district. As a school committed to diversity, inclusion and the creation of a safe environment free from bullying, we are digging deeper into this matter. "

One can't help but wonder if they would have done it if these students hadn't raised their voices at all.

Pennsylvania State Capitol Building. (Capital star photo by Cassie Miller.)

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The Committee of the Government of the House of Representatives will hold another hearing, this at 1 p.m., as the 2020 election inquisition continues.

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