By now, many are aware of the white-supremacist social media pages created in the wake of Principal Caldwell’s powerful, heart-centered message challenging displays of the Confederate flag. Hate symbols and hate speech are among the violent acts that contribute to unsafe environments for our students, staff, and teachers, and they cannot be tolerated any more than physical acts of violence. The current threat to the safety of our BIPOC community members is not diminished by the fact that our school buildings are not being accessed by as many people as in a typical year. Harm is still being done. Safety is still being threatened.
While in this moment many in our district are rallying in response to particular actions unfolding on social media, white supremacist idealogy is not limited to online spaces, and it is enabled by the racism that is baked into our country’s foundation–racism that is alive and well in Northampton, as everywhere. What was initiated on social media may be the work of an individual or individuals, but it is not an isolated event, and it is a call to action for us all.
REAL Northampton is committed to working with students, staff, teachers, and families to fight for the anti-racist school environments our community members deserve. As we continue to communicate and collaborate with individuals and groups across the district who share our commitment, we will keep you updated.