By edhat staff
Santa Barbara Unified School District (SBUSD) sent out a message to parents following a reported racist attack on a student at Santa Barbara Junior High.
On Tuesday, SBUSD released a notice via ParentSquare after the Santa Barbara Unified School District’s Board of Trustees meeting, stating an incident that occurred on a school campus was raised during public comment on non-agenda items.
“We heard from a Santa Barbara Junior High family in pain and a community in need of answers, and we stand with them in condemnation of any act of violence on our campuses, in this case hate violence related to a student’s race. At Santa Barbara Unified, we do not tolerate this behavior, and are committed to doing better,” the message read.
The parent of the victim said during public comment that her son was called the “n-word” by other students and they allegedly kneeled on his head and neck while saying, “George Floyd ”during class at Santa Barbara Junior High, reports The Independent.
The child’s mother also said there have been other incidents of racism against her child by other students. She contacted the administration, but only received a response from principal Arielle Curry. Several other community members spoke in support of the victim during the public comment section.
“I feel very unsupported at school right now, and I demand a change take place in schools immediately,” she said according to The Independent.
SBUSD’s response message included five points to address the incident. First, it stated they had connected with the victim’s family to ensure the student’s safety as well as mental health support. Second, a full investigation has been ordered to review the entire incident, “including not only the violence and hate language used by the students, but also into supervision and a review of policies and practices with all of our leaders, teachers, teaching assistants and remaining staff,” the message read.
Third, the alleged perpetrators received “appropriate actions” with restorative measures to help them understand the consequences of their actions. “We are also engaging in educational opportunities that will show the impact that their behavior had on their classmate and other students in the school,” stated SBUSD.
A continued focus will be put on hiring employees that have a background in serving diverse populations and continued work with community partners to establish inclusivity and restorative justice.
“We believe that representation matters, and will continue to build our staff with that as a primary goal. Finally, as we learn from this experience, we are reaffirming our commitment to transparency in building an anti-racist environment of which we can all be proud,” the message said.