Demand Marian Take Action to End Discrimination and Hate

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Audrey Ledermann
Audrey Ledermann signed this petition

Many members of the Marian Central community were horrified to find out a video depicting racism and violence was published online to social media by a current student. Since the time this video has surfaced, many former students have come forward to reveal that this was not an isolated incident and that there is a culture of racism, sexism, queerphobia, and general bigotry that exists in the Marian community. We demand that the administration take the following steps to start creating a safe community for all its students. 


Short Term Solutions:


1. Marian Central Catholic High School must expel the student who created the video immediately. The administration must next investigate this student’s behavior and investigate any of the student accounts that liked the video. 


2. The school must open an ongoing investigation into the harassment and intimidation of students of color, female students, LGBTQ+, students with disabilities, and all other marginalized communities, and expel any students found to be involved in that discriminatory behavior. 


3. Some students were tagged in the video to intimidate and harass those students. In addition, the post included sexist and violent comments including suggestions to assault the female commentators speaking out. Marian should reach out to those students privately to assure them that they have their support and sympathy and expel any of the students who made those comments.  

3.A. Marian should provide counseling resources to all students who feel intimidated by the video to ensure their trauma is acknowledged and treated. 

3.B. Marian must investigate the screenshots of the post that are available and expel any student threatening violence or using hate speech.

 

4. Marian Central must put out a statement condemning the video and the behavior of the student. This statement must acknowledge the culture of "exclusivity" that exists on campus, acknowledge the administration and staff's role in failing to create a culture which welcomes and celebrates diversity of race, gender, sexuality, etc, and provide a formal apology for that failure. 


Long Term Solutions: 


1. Marian must implement a zero tolerance policy in which any student caught using any offensive slur or shameful language will be expelled; any student who intimidates or harasses another student on the basis of race, gender, sexuality, (dis)ability, religion, or income status will be expelled; and any student found doing any of these discriminatory actions digitally will be expelled. 

1A. Any staff member found to engage in this behavior must be terminated 

immediately

1B. All staff must be required to report any instances of harassment or intimidation

witnessed online, in person, or in any other circumstances.


2. Marian must hire a counselor with a background in crisis counseling and discrimintation to be a resource to help students.


3. Marian must create and share resources for survivors of discrimination, sexual violence, and harassment. 

3.A. Marian has fallen short in providing resources and awareness to prevent sexual violence and provide survivors with the resources they need for their emotional and physical safety

3.B. Marian must end its practice of shaming female students and referring to them as flowers, gum, tape, etc as metaphors for their virginity. 

3.C. While acknowledging that Marian teaches Catholic social teachings of abstinence until marriage, it cannot deny that consent is a necessary part of marriage. As such, teaching consent can and should be reconciled with teaching chastity. Despite the school's abstinence teachings, there are students who will have sex before marriage. Therefore, teaching consent is an important step the school can take to prevent sexual assault. 

3.D. The school must also adopt a zero tolerance policy for perpetrators of sexual violence to support survivors. 


4. Marian must create a safe space for students of color and their families to share their experiences and concerns. 

4.A. How that safe space looks should be left up to the Marian community. Both current families and alumni should be given equal opportunity to voice their visions of what this safe space should look like.


5. All teachers, administrators, and other staff members must attend trainings on diversity, sexual harassment, and creating an inclusive environment. 

5.A. In order to maintain or begin employment at Marian, all teachers must pass an 

examination demonstrating a high level of proficiency in their understanding of these 

trainings.


6. Teachers must reshape their curriculums to be more inclusive. The following are examples that can be found in inclusive classroom environments:

6.A. Ensure that a diverse set of readings is used in the classroom and include writings from diverse authors. 

6.B. Ensure that assignments and projects are culturally sensitive and appropriate for all students.

6.C. Facilitate discussions between students to help build bridges and find common ground. These discussions should serve to aid the process of dismantling stereotypes.