Hunterdon Central High School student anti-racism club endorsed by BOE
TOWNSHIP OF RARITAN – The Hunterdon Central Regional Education Council has unanimously approved a new high school activity club, “Students Against Racism”.
The club, which has been proposed by high school juniors and seniors, does not aim to specifically name a particular race or affinity group, but will create a safe space for students to discuss racism, said Robert Richard , member of the school board, the chair of the Student Life and Programs Committee, presenting the motion at the July 19 meeting.
“Students Against Racism joins clubs like our Black Student Union, Latinx Alliance, Asian Student Alliance and PULSE to provide students with the opportunity to speak up and build community from a safer space, while working to help. to deliver unified messages and celebrations of diversity on campus, “said Superintendent Jeffrey Moore.
Students want the club to be a safe space for learning and sharing, while working together to plan campus and community-wide service projects aligned with anti-racism.
“Community service would also be a key component for the club so that the organization can have a positive impact on the school as well as the surrounding community in which the students live,” said interim principal Edward Brandt.
In September, the Board of Education established the Racism, Equity and Diversity Committee, which is made up of four board members, students, parents, staff, community groups and local organizations in non-profit.
According to the district’s website, the committee was formed to begin to understand the experiences of diverse student populations on campus, and these discussions informed important policy changes and set direction for measuring and mitigating the gaps.
The Hunterdon Central Education Association has its own Anti-Racism Committee, which has worked and continues to work in conjunction with the school board and district administration.
Questions about the race-insensitive content prompted the high school earlier this year to change its plans for the student production of the classic musical “South Pacific.”
“Central is fortunate not only to have students who stand up for each other, but also adults who are eager to empower this kind of work,” the superintendent said in March. “At Hunterdon Central, we strive to ensure that students are able to voice their concerns, advocate for themselves and each other, and feel comfortable working with adults on necessary solutions. whenever problems arise. As educators, we are proud of the cooperative work that has resulted. in making this decision and recognizing the opportunity to create valuable learning lessons. “
Also in March, staff members participated in anti-bias training, which some participants said was biased against white people. Others hailed the training as necessary to stimulate conversations about racism, equity and diversity.
The training sparked controversy at the school board meeting on March 15, when community members expressed their views on the training led by Dr Nathalie Edmond, clinical psychologist at Princeton.
Moore defended the “Racial Awareness vs Anti-Racism” agenda, noting that Gov. Phil Murphy has mandated all state agencies to implement the recommendations of the October 2020 report of the Interagency Task Force to Combat Human Rights. prejudice among young people, which includes additional training on prejudice for all. school staff.
“At no point did our training brand anyone as racist or accuse anyone of being a white supremacist,” Moore said at the time of the training. “Hunterdon Central is committed to providing a safe, nurturing and loving environment for all of our students. Extensive staff training on anti-bias and diversity issues is a critical part of this commitment.”
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