Wednesday, September 30, 2020

OMG - it was blackface

This article in The State explains what happened at Blythewood High School that prompted a two-page press release by Richland 2 School District

Somebody's panties got twisted over a student's posting into blackface.

Does anybody still wonder why racism is alive and well in Richland County, in Columbia, in South Carolina, in The South, in the USA?

The article mentions the school's Spirit Week, which includes wearing of the color-of-the-week as black for freshman. So a freshman wore black, including blackened arms and face.

I hope this student and his parents sue Richland 2 for violation of his First Amendment right of free speech. I can recommend an attorney. The one who beat CNN over the head on behalf of Nick Sandmann. And the ones representing Kyle Rittenhouse, who are suing Joe Biden and his campaign for libel.

Pretty soon the case will be in Richland 2 that they will prohibit using the word "black". You'll be required to say Black.

So much for sensitivity training and cultural awareness. 

The Blythewood principal was quoted in The State as saying, "we will Be The Change". Where have I heaerd that before??? I didn't like it then, either.

What was the kid's social-media post???

Richland 2 issued a press release today, after somebody's nose got out-of-joint over some kid's social media post? Do anyone know what the post was? Sure looks like somebody's feelings got hurt. Or could have.

What in the world could that social-media post have said to cause such an over-kill by Richland 2?

Is this a case of "The beatings will continue until morale improves"?

Said Richland 2:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 30, 2020 


COLUMBIA, S.C. — Richland Two and Blythewood High administrators were alerted this morning that an inappropriate tweet had been posted by a student in the district and the Blythewood High School’s student government account was tagged in the tweet. The school’s principal took immediate steps to have the post removed and to communicate with the schools’ students, employees and parents. 

The tweet was in connection with the school’s Spirit Week. The school plans special activities during Spirit Week as a way to highlight anticipation for the upcoming Homecoming football game and to create excitement about being a Blythewood Bengal. Today, students were asked to wear colors based on their class: black for Freshmen; navy for Sophomores; white for Juniors; and gold for Seniors. The photos in the tweet were inappropriate and insensitive. They did not support the goal or intent of Spirit Week. 

Superintendent Dr. Baron R. Davis said, “As a district, we acknowledge that the tweet was unacceptable, inappropriate and hurtful. It does not reflect the core values of the district or of Blythewood High School. We are certainly sorry for any hurt or distress the tweet caused, and we will continue to be committed to providing a premier educational experience for our students, staff, parents and community.” 

Helen Grant, Richland Two Chief Diversity and Multicultural Inclusion Officer, has been in consultation with Matt Sherman, Blythewood High School’s principal, since early in the summer about the goal to enhance the culture and climate of the school. 

“Blythewood High is committed to making sure that all students feel valued. The school’s employees and students have been engaged in productive conversations about race and equity and have committed to being the change that needs to happen,” said Grant. 

Under the leadership of the Richland Two Board of Trustees, Richland Two implemented an Equity Policy in August 2019 that makes clear the board’s and district’s commitment to the success of every student and to equity of opportunity and access to programs, services and resources that are critical to student success. 

To accomplish this goal, the district is taking a series of steps including: 

• Using a growth mindset and believing all students are capable of success ### 

• Reviewing policies, procedures and practices to ensure they do not present institutional barriers 

• Recruiting, employing and retaining a high quality diverse staff 

• Offering opportunities for employees to increase their individual cultural competency thereby increasing our collective capacity to serve our diverse student population 

• Providing professional development opportunities for staff in the areas including diversity, inclusion, equity, anti-bias, privilege, microaggressions 

• Affirming and modeling an appreciation for all forms of intelligence and the wide variety of ways students illustrate their mastery of skills and knowledge 

One of the goals set by Superintendent Davis for the 2020-2021 school year is to focus on the social justice and equity needs of our district. The district is participating with the national school superintendent’s association (AASA) in a nationwide Equity In Action Program where the Richland 2 team is receiving specialized training in how to implement change to help ensure that we are being equitable in our work. Additionally, an Equity Focus Group is being formed to identify, prioritize and rectify any areas of concern in the district. 

Davis said, “We are determined to have the courageous conversations about being anti-racist as we continue to reach out to one another in unity. We have been working continuously to make Richland Two a place where all students, staff, parents and community members are valued, included and supported. We strive everyday to uphold our core values of learning, character, community and joy. We take seriously the principle practice of diversity and inclusion in our policies, our goals, our programs and our initiatives.” 

“Changes and improvements have been made but there is still work to be done. Just as our staff needs the professional development and access to resources that will help improve our work, our students also need instruction and access to resources to help them learn acceptance of and sensitivity to people who are different from them,” said Grant. “We will use our student government groups, our clubs and organizations, our character education programs and our classrooms to provide that instruction and those resources.” 

“We are grateful for the support we have received from our community as we continue our journey towards premier education. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of our students and our community. We join with the commitment of the Blythewood High School family to Be The Change,” said Davis.