Boston’s NAACP chief is calling for the city’s schools to hire an outside firm to probe race relations district-wide, while students across the city are being called on to wear all black to class today in support of Boston Latin’s student protests of indifference to racism at the elite exam school.
Boston NAACP President Michael Curry told the Herald yesterday he wants to see “an external entity being engaged to look at racial tension citywide,” beyond the promised probe by the school district’s equity office.
“I’m not happy because it shouldn’t have taken this long, quite frankly,” Curry said. “We’re seeing this play out across the country, where administrators wait too long to take these situations seriously, and then they lead to requests for termination and parents not wanting their kids to get an education at that particular school.
“There’s a lot of phone calls being made behind the scenes by people who do not want their school name tarnished, and I hope that takes a back seat to making sure every student feels welcome and respected,” Curry said.
A Boston schools spokesman said Superintendent Tommy Chang has consulted with Curry and “greatly appreciates his role in helping elevate the racial concerns raised by the BLACK student group into a citywide dialogue,” but added, “we are confident that our equity office will complete a thorough review.”
The two students who launched the #BlackAtBLS campaign via YouTube last week, Kylie Webster-Cazeau and Meggie Noel, released a new video last night thanking their school’s administration for “opening dialogue and bringing us to the table,” but added, “Sixteen months after BLS BLACK (Black Leaders Aspiring For Change and Knowledge) handed the binder of tweets to our headmaster, many students from the community of color at BLS felt as though nothing was done to address this issue to the whole BLS community.”
A BPS statement said, “The leaders of Boston Latin School take the concerns raised by the BLS BLACK student group very seriously,” met with students at that time, and held a forum on race and social media. He added that school leaders met with students Friday to develop an “action plan.”
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