May 22, 2018

A Letter From Rosemary

Dear Ones—

Though classes are over, it’s a busy time for us here, as we work to address the painful experiences of students of color at Starr King. I want to thank you for your messages of concern about our graduating student and the circumstances surrounding her decision not to attend commencement ceremonies last week. Some of you spoke of your disappointment that the school’s communications did not mention the student’s name. That was not meant as disrespect, but rather as recognition of the student’s right to privacy under the federal regulations that govern educational institutions.

I’ve also heard a wide variety of proposals from students and staff about ways the school can address what’s already happened. We appreciate each one of them; please know that we are looking at every aspect of school culture. I met Monday with our school’s executive team; today I’ll meet with faculty and the Board of Trustees; Wednesday, I’ll be meeting with staff. At every meeting, we’re examining these questions: where in our school can we make the biggest impact in interrupting patterns of white supremacy culture that continue to surface despite our best intentions? What specific interventions will make students of color feel more supported? What additional opportunities can we create for white students to recognize white supremacy culture without burdening students of color?

What’s most important to all of us? Creating a workable plan that we can put into place by August, when our new class of students arrive. Even as I write these words, I am awaiting word from potential partners who can help us meet that goal and serve as a community of accountability for us. I hope to have more to say in the next two weeks about specific work that the school will undertake. As I know more, I’ll post the information here. I continue to ask for your prayers for the school as we move ahead. Thank you for all that you do on behalf of Starr King.


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