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News, Opinion, & Multimedia for Tamalpais High School

The Tam News

News, Opinion, & Multimedia for Tamalpais High School

The Tam News

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Black student union members call for change with walk out, letter to district board

Students, including the Black Student Union (BSU), at Tamalpais High School continue their fight against racism by organizing a walk-out and addressing the Tamalpais Unified High School District (TUHSD) board of trustees after a video of students using the n-word was circulated on campus.

BSU held a walk out during sixth period on Oct. 11 in protest. Following the walk out, members of BSU took to the district’s board meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 24, addressing the issue. Many staff and students have felt that the matter was not handled.

Senior and co-president of BSU Auvin Cole, among several others, spoke during public comment at the board meeting and submitted a letter to the board.

“Our school is meant to be a safe and inclusive environment for all students, faculty, staff, and volunteers, regardless of their race, ethnicity, or background,” Cole read from his letter during the meeting. “However, it is disheartening to admit that this incident has shaken our belief in the values we hold dear, and as the governing board of our district, I stand before you today requesting you uphold our mission and vision.”

Cole expressed the “tremendous pain for many students” caused as a result of the racist behavior perpetuated by the students who participated, filmed, and spread the video, adding, “it has reminded us that racism still exists within our community, and that we need to address it head-on,” he said to the board.

Cole and other members of BSU requested that the involved students give a formal apology to the student body and that the Parent/Student Handbook be revised to define consequences for hate-motivated behavior clearly. They also asked that for those involved in perpetrating racist incidents, restorative justice practices should be implemented to encourage accountability and growth. Moreover, counseling services should be readily available to support victims of racism and help them cope with the emotional impact.

Finally, they asked for financial support to host an event with educator Ta-Nehisi Coates, a prolific and influential Black journalist and writer today.

“As students, we are deeply concerned about the impact this incident has had on our school environment … It is our responsibility to stand up against racism and discrimination of all forms,” he said.

Auvin shared how Tam as a community needs to fight discrimination and racism in order to create an inclusive environment for all.


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