By Lorin Enns
Students and staff met in a series of symposia starting on Friday, May 19 in room 200 after school to discuss growing friction and division on and off campus. In the past week, discussion of racial tension has become an ever-growing topic on school campus, leading Principal Mr. Piccininni and members of the staff to take action. A letter addressing the issues and providing students a chance to attend the symposia was read to students in their English classes.
“We, the staff and administration at Coronado High School, are concerned about the well-being of all of our students. Considering the recent incidents not only at our school, but district-wide and as a nation, we are inviting each of our students who are interested to participate in a student symposium regarding diversity and equity. This is not purely a conversation meant to be about race, but a needed discourse about the quality and standards of Coronado when considering issues of race as well as academics, gender, economics, and ethnicity,” the letter said.
Accompanying the symposium announcement, students were given two options: the chance to sign up to attend or to fill out a statement discussing topics and ideas they wish to be brought up at the meetings. Sign ups were available with Ms. Henly, the dean’s secretary, in the dean’s office, until Thursday, May 18. Participating staff read and reviewed all suggestions and statements.
“As Coronado High School, one of the things that we want our students to know is that they’re loved and valued, and sometimes as teachers and educators, we don’t know what the issues are,” Mrs. Jackson, a teacher hosting the event, said. “In order for us to better serve our student body, we need to know from them their concerns. The reason why I said I’d do this is because I really care.”
Mrs. Jackson and Mr. Quijada ran the event, reading off suggested ideas written by students and ways to improve awareness with diversity, equity, and responsibilities in our school’s society. There were symposiums during every period on Friday, giving more students opportunity to attend.
“We need to discuss things like this because it’s important to the students and to the faculty,” Mr. Quijada said. “When we put them out on the table, we’re able to give them a proper discussion, and we can see things from everyone’s perspective.”