December 2, 2023

Some Marin residents are calling for stronger motion by the Tamalpais Union Excessive College District to handle a video with a racial slur that was made and shared by Tamalpais Excessive College college students.

Greater than a dozen audio system who attended the district board assembly Tuesday mentioned not sufficient has been completed to restore injury and rebuild belief after the incident. The commenters on the board of trustees assembly on Tuesday included mother and father, college students, academics and group leaders.

“College students are being harm, households are being harm,” guardian Hilary Heaven advised trustees. “We don’t really feel secure.”

Trainer Grace Backer mentioned she requested her college students to place their heads down on their desks after which maintain their fingers as much as signify how a lot they nonetheless felt fearful and anxious concerning the incident, on a scale of 1 to five.

“All of the White college students held up 1 finger, that means they had been simply happening with their day-to-day lives and never fascinated with it,” Backer mentioned. “All the scholars of shade posted a 5.”

Johnathan Logan, pastor of Cornerstone Neighborhood Church in Marin Metropolis, advised trustees there are “lingering questions that must be clarified” concerning the incident.

“What actions did the principal take to clarify that Tam is a secure place for college kids of shade, regardless of the antagonist ambiance the video created?” Logan mentioned. “How was this incident used to coach the scholar physique on the unfavorable results of dangerous speech?”

Tara Taupier, the district superintendent, mentioned the district and the highschool have taken a number of steps and the work is continuous. She mentioned Kimberly Clissold, the college’s principal, addressed college students on Oct. 13 and supplied an apology. Clissold additionally met with the college’s Black Pupil Union members and group companions.

“We’re providing ‘affinity areas’ the place Black college students can meet to debate their emotions and get assist,” Taupier mentioned. “As well as, a ‘cease and study’ occasion was held Thursday for all Tam Excessive college students.”

College students on the “cease and study” occasion participated in a lesson on “racist and dehumanizing language.” The “affinity areas” allowed Black college students a possibility to course of feelings with assist from grownup facilitators, Taupier mentioned.

“This lesson may also be delivered to all our college websites,” Taupier mentioned. The district’s excessive faculties embrace Tamalpais, Archie Williams, Redwood, Tamiscal and San Andreas.

Taupier added that Tam Excessive is planning a guardian and caregiver assembly for November. As well as, “the district has drafted an expectations sheet relating to utilizing the N-word on our campuses,” Taupier mentioned.

Taupier declined to verify whether or not the folks answerable for the video had been disciplined. A number of audio system on the board assembly mentioned they believed a one-day suspension had been imposed, which they mentioned was not sufficient.

Taupier mentioned pupil self-discipline data is confidential and can’t legally be disclosed.

Logan and Ida Occasions-Inexperienced, members of the Marin Metropolis Coalition, offered trustees with a letter signed by group leaders that referred to as for a spread of actions to alter the tradition at the highschool.

Along with a public apology, the letter really useful a number of coverage modifications to advertise extra transparency and stricter documentation of racial incidents. They referred to as for a “zero tolerance coverage” for such incidents and college coaching to stop them.

The group additionally really useful efforts to foster group relationships constructing and cut back stigmas or biases involving Marin Metropolis. These might embrace historic views about “contributions of Black People to our nation’s historical past,” the letter mentioned.

“Tensions amongst Black college students have been additional heightened as a result of they really feel that there’s a permissive angle on campus that permits the usage of racial slurs and epithets to be commonplace with out consequence to the perpetrators,” the letter mentioned.

“Given the context of the historic harms of racism and the frequency of most of these incidents within the district over the previous few years, we consider there’s a want for the group to be engaged in efforts to create a secure and supportive atmosphere for all college students at Tam Excessive,” it mentioned.