Following the May 8 assembly that addressed discrimination at PHS and MHS, including the recent anti semitic incidents, the halls of the school filled with both in depth, productive discussion as well as backlash towards certain groups and individuals. Difference of opinion and experience has caused arguments over the legitimacy of and responses to discrimination against different groups on campus.
During a time when our student body is becoming polarized, we must remember that at the core, our motivations are to create an inclusive atmosphere. Instead of asserting that another perspective is invalid, we, as a student body, should remember the bigger picture and remain unified against discrimination as a whole. Ostracizing individuals or making accusatory conversation only adds to the problem. It’s imperative to continue these discussions and make the positive change we know is possible in our community.
As the student body, we have the power to shape our school into a respectful community and to do so, we must first accept our faults and then seek to understand how we can improve. Despite the differences between implicit and explicit bias, there are actions every individual can take to raise awareness in Piedmont about offensive language of all levels. Being sensitive and aware to all people can promote a community filled with more understanding and acceptance. As sentiments concerning the assembly and recent media coverage evolve, one way we can begin to restore the inclusive atmosphere in Piedmont is to engage in discussions with our peers, especially those with different perspectives or experiences. In these discussions, it is especially important to respect the integrity of other’s experiences. Instead of criticizing administration, With these discussions will come a greater understanding of projected biases and stereotypes as well as how they impact individuals.
It’s important to not be afraid, but to reach out and ask questions if you are confused or uncertain. Talking and being open with friends and family about the recent situations around us will better educate us as a community and as a school.
Let us not dwell on the past, but look to the future, of a more positive community. Reach out to others, make connections, and continue the conversations. With our efforts, we can make our school the safe place we know it can be.