Growing call for Monroe schools to be tougher on student racism and increase training

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Growing call for Monroe schools to be tougher on student racism and increase training

MONROE – Monroe Equity Council members and their supporters plan to flood the next school board meeting with calls for action against racism.
The actions requested are that the district hire a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) officer, declare the school district anti-racist, and commit to providing general anti-racist training to staff who go beyond the minimum state levels. .
With the renewal of two school board seats, the Equity Council sees the Monday, December 13 meeting as an opportunity to continue its bugle call. Newly elected school board members Sarah Johnson and Molly Barnes take their seats that evening.
The action plan was released at the end of a meeting of the Council on Equity Group attended on December 1, in which former students and parents discussed abuse and racism in schools.
A November 10 confrontation in the parking lot of Monroe High School against a black college student, by a white college student and a white female student, reignited calls for action.
The woman and her father have since repeatedly harassed the black man at his workplace, his mother Stephanie Holliman explained at the panel meeting.
“We don’t feel safe” at Monroe, Holliman said. For a while, they lock themselves in a hotel out of fear for their safety.
The confrontation began when the black man stood up for a friend who was racially bullied.
Police treated the incident as a hate crime. The department concluded its investigation and released its findings to county prosecutors on Dec. 1, Cmdr of Police. Paul Ryan said.
Separately, Monroe High principal Brett Wille is on temporary non-disciplinary administrative leave pending a review, the school told parents on Friday, after a Friday assembly where Wille “verbally listed name calling. derogatory and racial “trying to illustrate unacceptable language at school. “While the intent of this language is informative, the impact has been detrimental,” the notification to all parents read.
During last week’s panel, Black Man’s Godmother Erica Henry noted how black residents of Monroe feel viewed as outsiders in the community due to the few blacks living in the town. (The US census estimates that Monroe is 4% black, or about 800 blacks among the city’s 20,000 residents. About 15,000 are white.)
Many concerned parents said the district was not enforcing consequences for racism.
The son of the Crecelius family, now 12, broke down in mid-October after being racially harassed at Park Place Middle School. Parents felt that the problem was ignored and “due to the lack of action my son lost his faith”, mom
said AJ Crecelius. He is now learning at home.
Panelists also spoke about receiving racist comments from classmates for being Latinx, and how some teachers and administrators turned a blind eye when students made openly racist comments during class.
Members of the Monroe Inclusion Collective, a group of students, said it was high time something was done.
The Collective presented its findings in February 2021 and nothing was done, said member Zoe Yates, now a graduate.
The Collective has recorded nearly 100 incidents of racism in the school district in recent years, but video of the Nov. 10 incident was posted on social media “and now people are shocked,” Yates said.
In her research project on inclusion and anti-racism / hate of Monroe, of the 89 survey participants, 58.43% indicated that they had been the victims of anti-LGBTQ + hate speech in the past. within Monroe High School or the district community. In addition, 57.3% of respondents had experienced racism and 58.43% had experienced sexism.
The Inclusion Collective’s report contained multiple suggestions, including that the district establish policies of non-tolerance for racism and hatred; increase training in diversity, equity and inclusion; and to have transparent policies on responding to racism.
Collective Nathan Duong, also now a graduate, said he believed the council tried to push away the students as the collective’s older core graduated.
It was “an uphill battle” to get presentation on the board’s agenda in the first place, he noted.
The Equity Council also struggled to get things done. He has approached the board several times in 2020 and 2021 asking for a response to no avail, said Equity Council chairperson Melanie Ryan.
said previously.

Previous coverage on this topic

Calls on Monroe schools to take action against racism

MONROE – Racist incidents in November prompted parents to renew their appeals to the school district to take action. Meanwhile, the Monroe Equity Council will host a roundtable this Wednesday December 1 online at 6 p.m. to discuss the experiences of BIPOC members in the community.

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