Graffiti, Violence and Racism at BHS©

Snapchat is one of the social outlets for young teens today. There is no real protocol for using it other than the users need to understand just how it works and the lingo. Just like texting though, it’s not always easy to know what’s appropriate and what’s not. During February vacation, a student snapped a photo of himself putting on a black mask telling everyone to go see the new movie “Black Panther”. The student was not white, but he wasn’t black either. Everyone looks at race in a different way.  What offends one doesn’t offend another. As a person of color when the story was told to me, I didn’t feel that the student intended any malice. The School Superintendent sent home a letter to parents stating how they are committed to ensuring that all students understand that racism will not be tolerated within any school in the town of Brookline, they reassured parents of their commitment to both educating and disciplining anyone that is found to violate the schools code of conduct. I have yet to see the movie “Black Panther”, but I have a feeling that if and when I do, I will be thinking of this very incident wondering just what happened to the poor student who was just trying to suggest his classmates see a good movie.

The same letter that informed parents of this unfortunate incident also told parents about Racist Graffiti on the wall of the Schluntz gym that has since been removed. It’s sad to see that some of us are continuing to take steps backward instead of forward. It is however nice to see more support out there for minorities of every kind.

Today I learned that an asian student at BHS was suspended for beating up a white student who was among a group of other white students that were taunting the asian student calling him a “chink”. The Asian student did beat up the white student but, no physical altercation would have ensued had he not felt the need to call the asian student a “chink”. I don’t condone the violence, but feel both students should have been suspended. It is not at all fair that the person who started the situation gets off scot-free just because the asian student got physical. What kind of message does this send?

I remember being in 5th grade at Pierce school. We were eating lunch in the cafeteria and it was quite cold out that day. I was sitting at the door closest to the door leading out to the bridge. The door was open and the breeze was blowing against my back so I got up and closed it. A minute later one of my peers got up and reopened it. Of course, I re-closed the door. My peer then walked over asking if I had closed the door? I replied that I had, and she turned around and socked me in the nose knocking me to the floor.  The monitor walked over, picked me up and took us both to the principal’s office without saying a word. We both ended up with a 3 day suspension. Upon my mother’s arrival to the school to supposedly retrieve me, she blasted the principal when she saw my bloody nose. She asked my peer what I had done to deserve a punch in the nose. My peer responded that “she opened the bloody door”. My mother turned to the principal with her killer glare stating that her daughters suspension better be lifted as she had done nothing wrong. Next thing you know, I was told to go back to class and my peer was walking out the front door with her mom and wouldn’t be returning for 4 days in lieu of the original 3 days.

“Violence is a measure of one’s weakness while racism is for those who choose to remain ignorant. We did not make ourselves different”, we were created differently! Felina Silver Robinson

Graffiti, Violence and Racism at BHS©

Copyright 2018

by Felina Silver Robinson

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