This story was shared by an NPS student. 

Image ID: the background of images 1, 2, and 3 is orange (upper one-third) and purple (lower two-thirds), with a large white square with rounded corners overlaying and within that square, this text in purple: “I am a black student at NHS. When I was a freshman, new to the Northampton School District, 2 months into the school year a few biology classes including mine went on a field trip. On the bus trip there, a white boy sat in the seat in front of me and was playing music from a portable speaker. He rapped and sang along loudly to all the songs. At one point, I heard him say the n word. I felt very shocked and panicked and wondered why no one else seemed to be upset about this. For the rest of the bus ride I felt extremely uncomfortable sitting near him. It was one of the first times I had heard someone who wasn’t black say the n word. My middle school was a small private school and people knew they would probably get in trouble for that because teachers were often nearby or other kids might tell them not to say it. I told a friend about my experience and he responded, ‘He’s not racist, he just says dumb things.’

Since then I have always felt uncomfortable being near that kid and feel resentful when I see other people hanging out or being friends with him–especially people who act like they are allies and I have seen call out racism and people being racist. It bothers me when people are friends with people who are racist and act like it’s just a personality trait or political view they don’t agree on.”

Image 2 has the same orange/purple split background, with the white text “Story Themes” running up the lower left side and two columns of white boxes (four per column) displaying our eight story themes. Here, the themes Lack of Understanding and Hurt & Exclusion are emphasized with bright/bold colors.

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