Saturday, June 6, 2020

Sacramento schools speak out on protests, killing of George Floyd — some posts upset students - Sacramento Bee

Sacramento schools speak out on protests, killing of George Floyd — some posts upset students 

Sacramento schools speak out on protests, killing of George Floyd
 some posts upset students

Sacramento Police Chief Daniel Hahn and Mayor Darrell Steinberg kneel with demonstrators in Oak Park on Wednesday, June 3, 2020, in a display of unity as another day of protests over the death of George Floyd are planned.
Some Sacramento-area schools are struggling to find the right way to respond to the killing of George Floyd and the nationwide protests borne from his death, and students are letting them know their statements are not enough.
Much of the criticism was aimed at the capital region’s private Catholic schools, which shared posts on social media condemning racism. The posts were quickly met with push back from students who say they’ve experienced discrimination while attending the Catholic-run schools.
A St. Francis High School Instagram post showing support for students of color garnered more than 1,000 responses, many of which were accounts of negative experiences at the East Sacramento campus.
Some of the students and alumni accused the school of deleting disparaging comments that cast the high school in a negative light. The school stated on their Instagram page that it deleted comments that identified students and teachers by name.
“Deleting the comments is like silencing them,” said Brooke Uhlenhop, 22, a St. Francis alumna. “You need to hold people accountable.”
Allesse Patterson, an 18-year-old St. Francis graduate who is black, said she felt troubled by what she described as “shallow words” from her alma mater.
“I think it’s important for them to address the issues they’ve ignored for so long,” Patterson told The Sacramento Bee.
Patterson recounted how teachers dismissed her anxiety after Stephon Clark was shot and killed by Sacramento police, and when school officials nearly withheld her diploma because she wore a kente cloth at graduation.
“Me and countless others have come to present problem after problem with racist teachers and students, microaggressions, racial insensitivity and time and time again you ignored us or pushed us aside,” she wrote. “Actions speak louder than the lousy words you copied and pasted from the Church’s website.
Bishop Jaime Soto, head of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Sacramento, said he read the comments from students, alumnae and community members, and he encouraged leaders at St. Francis to do the same.
“It is very painful to hear so many personal accounts from students of color who feel they have not been as supported, valued or protected as they should have been,” he said. “I applaud the bravery of every young woman who told her story on this forum, and who continues to live out the Christian ideal of confronting what she believes needs to be seen, heard and fixed.”
The posts sparked some activism. Two alumni, Martina Penalosa and Ana Macaspac, started a petition to demand change, including sensitivity training for teachers and promoting an environment of inclusion and diversity.
Both Jesuit High School and Christian Brothers High School also released statements that received pushback online. Christian Brothers, which made news after former principal Chris Orr stated his firing was racially motivated, released a statement on Wednesday which prompted criticism on Facebook. Orr sued Christian Brothers after he was fired.
“The world watched in horror as George Floyd’s life was brutally taken at the hands of police officers in Minneapolis, Minnesota,” the statement read in part. “Since then, we have watched our city, our country, and our world react to this tragedy with emotions ranging from prayerful sorrow to deep-seeded anger. We have seen transformative acts of love and compassion juxtaposed against horrific acts of violence. We stand with our global Lasallian Catholic community in praying for Mr. Floyd, his family, and his loved ones, as we pray for the victims of racial injustice and violence everywhere.” CONTINUE READING: Sacramento schools speak out on protests, killing of George Floyd — some posts upset students