Admin email details racist events

Sign+outside+the+boy%27s+restroom.+

Luke Murray

Sign outside the boy's restroom.

Original publish date- March 2, Updated March 5. 

This past Thursday, the administration sent community members an email regarding racist acts recently committed by students both on and off-campus. 

 The first incident mentioned, which occurred outside Safeway during lunch Monday, regarded several Drake students that boasted about their grandparent’s status as slave owners. A Marin resident that overheard the students brought these comments to the attention of the administration. 

The second issue brought to light was a vandalized bathroom, which now hosts an etched ‘n-word.’ This graffiti was found by staff on Tuesday. 

The remainder of the response from the administration regarded their plan on how to address the acts of racism committed by students, and by definition, community. Principal Liz Seabury, in said email, stated that, ‘We understand that racism is present in our community and our national culture, however, as a learning organization, we will not allow any acts of racism to go unaddressed.’ 

This isn’t the first email the administration has written to address racism from students; similar emails concerned swastikas and other white power symbols graffitied on campus, as well as confederate flags flown by students at sporting events. 

Our staff has been working on anti-racist pedagogy with leadership from our Drake Equity Staff Team and our SOAR (Students Organized for Anti-Racism) […] The Drake Parent Racial Equity Team is also committed to confronting racism in the Drake community.  […] The Drake Parent Racial Equity Team welcomes you to attend a workshop of Courageous Conversations About Race. We are offering two of these workshops […]” said Seabury.

When asked what steps the administration would take to enforce rules and influence kids who committed such acts, Seabury stated that it was less about punishment and more about opening a dialogue. 

“[It’s about] striking to the core of [a student’s] morality…who they are and do they really believe that,” said Seabury when asked what discipline and change looked like with offenders. “Especially with teenagers,” she said. 

Beyond just conversation, hate speech can be a suspendable offense. “Stay home suspensions are for broken trust,” said Seabury. Things like sexual assault and hate speech fall under stay home suspendable offenses. “These are things that cause harm to another student,” said Seabury.   

In addition to the events detailed in the email, there was other racist graffiti left out of the email for lack of evidence. Found by a student, (and subsequently quickly erased,) a swastika was sketched onto the wall outside the boy’s bathroom. Although it was reported, it was not mentioned in the email sent by Seabury as there was no evidence, picture or physical proof. 

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