student walkout, California, N-word, student protests

Racist Video At California High School Prompts Student Walkout, Demands

A racist video and subsequent violence at a high school in California’s North Bay has Black student activists demanding more be done to protect them.

The call for the North Bay School District to enforce more anti-racist policy and protocol to ensure their Black population feels safe came after students at Tamalpais High School released a video in early October where a racial slur was used.

The video, according to the Marin Independent Journal, showed several students saying the n-word.

The racist incident led to violence at the school, including fights in which a Black employee was hurt, as confirmed by KTVU. Principal Kimberly Clissold held an assembly with the entire student body to apologize for the matter, in addition to creating spaces for the Black students to express their feelings on the issue.

“The administration is investigating and actively addressing this incident with the students involved,” Clissold said. “As a district and school, we condemn all acts of racism and will continue efforts to educate our student body about the harmful impact these acts have on our fellow students and our broader community.”

The leaders of the school’s Black Student Union organized a walkout to protest the use of the slur and to ensure those involved in the racist video are held accountable.

“This protest really showed the school how we really care about our community and we really want our voices to be heard,” said freshman Shaniya Valentine, one of the walkout speakers. “I feel like our walkout showed we were really serious and we believe things should have been handled better.”

Members of the community also showed up to support the students’ concerns.

The union issued a list of recommendations to enforce in the district’s school policies to ensure that the educational environment remains safe for students of all backgrounds.

“We are engaging in ongoing dialogue about race, discrimination, prejudice, and privilege and the role each plays in our community and the larger society,” Clissold wrote in an email. “Our commitment to this work is focused on providing a school environment that is free of prejudice and is safe for all staff and students who rightly call Tam High their school.”

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