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The Milton Measure

[Editorial] Let’s Listen

by The Milton Measure on Friday, May 26th, 2017

On Monday, May 22nd, a group of students, many clad entirely in black, interrupted Monday morning assembly before Mr. Ball began to speak. These students declaimed Section 5D of the Student Handbook and asked the administrators standing at the podium why they had refused to condemn blatant acts of racial prejudice. Chanting “What do we want?…Justice!” and “When do we want it?…Now!”, a stream of students stood up and filed out of the Athletic and Convocation Center.

At recess that same morning, many of the same students led a sit-in in the Schwarz Student Center. One row of protesters held a sign proclaiming, “If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention.” During the silent protest, Solace Mensah-Narh ‘17 announced, “If you are sitting down now, the teachers say prepare to sit all day.” Students cheered upon hearing support from our teachers, and then began the first sit-in.

During the sit-in, many students announced their calls to action, particularly against the administration. The organizers of this protest completed a list of immediate demands and questions on Monday for the administration to respond to. Monday’s events initiated a week of intense, exhausting, and emotionally charged events.

While Monday’s Student Center sit-in was impromptu, students organized a deliberate sit-in around the Deans’ offices on Tuesday, which lasted until one PM, at which point Mr. Ball and Mr. Bland formally answered the question posed by protesters on Monday. These responses, however, felt inadequate and vague to many students and faculty alike.

On Tuesday afternoon following the sit-in, faculty arranged programming for two hours, during which students and teachers met in small groups to unpack the events of the past few days and share feelings and support. Then on Thursday morning, Rodney Glasgow, a diversity specialist from outside Milton, spoke and helped facilitate conversation among the student body.

Throughout the last week, we have witnessed a lot. We have witnessed racism, apologies, and attempts to grow and learn. While we as a community may attempt to hide, minimize, or deny the issues of our campus, we must acknowledge that there is racism at Milton Academy. There always has been racism at Milton Academy. There, unfortunately, will always be racism at Milton Academy, in some form or another.

We will never tolerate racism. That statement stands on its own. To clarify, “we” constitutes the Editorial Boards of both The Milton Paper and The Milton Measure.

While we as a community may wish to place the burden of healing the community and enacting change fully on the administration, that onus is also on the students. We felt that it was our duty, as students Milton’s newspapers, to give students, faculty, and administration the opportunity to address the community in a formal way. The issues of race and discrimination on our campus are not issues just for black students, or for students of color. These issues should be important for every single person on this campus. We aim to deliver as many opinions as possible to help all of us understand, heal, and prepare for our next steps. We want to preface our issue with the message that all letters and articles represent solely the opinions of each individual writer and not necessarily those of the Editorial Boards. We have edited submissions for length and clarity only.

We want to stress the importance of care and love during one of the most difficult times in recent Milton history. So, be kind to each other. Listen. We have heard a multitude of voices this week reminding us to “listen to listen — not to respond.” Remember those voices. So many in our midst are hurting. Some are not. Accept your peers, your teachers, and your administrators as humans. We hope that the perspectives which you find within these pages can help our community to begin this process of listening, of understanding, and of improving.

 

Short URL: http://miltonmeasure.org/?p=8883

Posted by The Milton Measure on May 26 2017. Filed under Editorial, More Opinion, Opinion, Recent Opinion, TMM/TMP Collabs 2017. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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