Hold Central Catholic High School (Portland, OR) accountable for racism and discrimination

Hold Central Catholic High School (Portland, OR) accountable for racism and discrimination

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Maya Webb started this petition to Central Catholic High School

Central Catholic High School in Portland, OR prides themselves on a student experience surrounded by diversity and inclusion, specifically boasting this quote on the institution’s website: “Central Catholic High School Diversity and Inclusion is striving to build relationships, support, and empower students from all backgrounds and lived experiences.” As current students and alumni, we demand this institution upholds their own diversity and inclusion claims.


Central Catholic Administration consistently exhibits racist and discriminatory actions. In recent years, an influential faculty member, who has served at the institution for multiple years, called two Black students a racial slur. School administration has not taken accountability or publicly apologized for the actions of this highly influential figure. Collectively, generations of students have been hurt by the racist and discriminatory actions of this individual. In addition, multiple instances have been reported of Caucasian teachers using the N word and defending their hateful speech with “historical context.” Use of racial slurs under any conditions are unacceptable and standing behind staff members who do so perpetuates racism–the opposite of “diversity” claims made on the Central Catholic website. Collectively, Central Catholic students have reported a noticeable increase in the use of racial slurs by non-Black students, without consequences from any staff or administration. Furthermore, the disproportionate number of students of color assigned detention is just one more way Central Catholic facilitates racism. 


In order to begin the process of eliminating racism and discrimination from the Central Catholic administration and staff, these demands must be upheld:

 

1. We demand that Central Catholic High School fully ban the usage of racial slurs by non-Black students, faculty, and staff, and clearly outline subsequent consequences for this offense in the Code of Conduct. This must include immediate mandatory suspension for all students and a non-negotiable minimum of two weeks unpaid leave for faculty and staff. 
2. We demand that Central Catholic High School create a diverse review board for all punishable offenses, ensuring that one individual cannot monopolize all disciplinary actions.
3. We demand that Central Catholic High School utilize writing from Black, Indigenous, and Educators of Color when discussing race. The continuous use of textbooks and resources solely written by Caucasian authors should not be used to educate on the subject of race and racism. 
4. We demand that Central Catholic High School take ownership and accountability for racism perpetuated by their own faculty and administrative staff. Specifically, a public and humble apology for the use of racial slurs by multiple Central Catholic teachers and staff is necessary immediately and indisputably.

 

Over the years, far too many students have been subjected to racism purely at the hands of Central Catholic administration, a trend that will continue if change is not immediately implemented. Multiple students have chosen to leave Central Catholic due to the overwhelming racial bias that has never been publicly addressed, and it is our mission to prevent any more students from experiencing emotional trauma at the hands of Central Catholic administration. These demands are just the beginning of creating a diverse and inclusive community, and every signature is a step towards bettering Central Catholic for students of all backgrounds and lived experiences.

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