Get Mr. Pirritano Fired and a Minority Elected to the Neshaminy School Board

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        My school district, Neshaminy has a racist school board president. The school board sets policies and direction for the whole district so the fact that the president of it is racist, especially during this time is scary for black and brown students. Also, the school board is all white and they are constantly making decisions that are utterly ignorant and offensive to minorities and forgetting about us. They don’t listen to the needs of students of color and they only consider what will please white students since they’re the majority. They ignore the needs of black and brown students and constantly make us an afterthought and that’s if they think of us at all. Now we know why, because the president of the school board is a racist and the entire school board is white. If it stays this way, conditions at my school for people of color will never get better and may get worse. We need Stephen Pirritano fired so my school can improve and we need at least one black person on the school board to make sure students and staff of color are being considered in their decisions. Sign this petition to make my school a more comfortable and safe environment for black and brown students.

         On July 1, 2020, the superintendent of Neshaminy sent a long email to everyone about how the district supports blm and how they would prioritize becoming a more anti-racist environment. Meanwhile, the PRESIDENT of the school board recently posted on Facebook that black lives matter is Marxist, anti-American, and “an organization that wants nothing to do with inclusion.” When I emailed the superintendent this, he literally said, “Read the first amendment, it’s freedom of speech,” which it is. But, they LIED about the district supporting the movement just because black lives

matter was more trendy and pressures to be “anti-racist allies” were very high when the email was originally released. As soon as it started to die down, their true colors started to show. Clearly, they aren’t that interested in making their district anti-racist and blatantly lied about supporting black lives matter.

         My friend and I also found other racist and ✨transphobic✨ things on his Facebook page. He called black lives matter protesters and rioters “animals” and “thugs” (just a week after the murder of George Floyd which was extremely insensitive) but did not post one thing showing empathy for his death. I went through his entire profile and found several posts of him criticizing the blm movement and dehumanizing its supporters but not one post about innocent black lives being taken, being anti-racist, or against police brutality. Once again, meaning the district lied about believing black lives matter. My school cannot be and is not anti-racist because the president of the school board who makes the decisions and policies for the district is not anti-racist.

         On top of that, the school board spent almost half a million dollars on defending its racist team name and mascot. The team name “Redskins (a dictionary defined slur which means the scalped and sold head of a Native American)” with a Native American person as a mascot is dehumanizing and offensive to indigenous people which is statistically and historically proven (a poll done by UC Berkeley this year shows that 67% of heavily practicing natives find the word offensive and dehumanizing.) In 2012, a Native American woman complained to administration about how the name and mascot were negatively impacting her sons who attended the school and sent them research proving how the imagery has a negative psychological impact on indigenous students and the all white school board ignored and dismissed her claims until there was a complaint filed. Her son even had to enter a work-release program because he didn’t want to be at school where they dehumanized indigenous people. We also are not taught their history or culture at all and the students at my school mock their culture at football games and other school events and the administration and staff do not care. Even after spending so much

money on keeping the degrading name, my school has no plans on teaching or even ACKNOWLEDGING Native American culture which is extremely disgusting and dehumanizing. Indigenous people are human beings, not mascots or objects.

         They don’t listen to what kids or parents want at all. They IGNORED countless emails about this situation from students and parents and a petition with over 34,000 signatures and counting while the petition to keep the name has only 400 because barely anybody wants the name. In 2014, they even revised a district policy specifically to keep the school newspaper from criticizing the name. Instead of just changing it and listening to the Native American people who were offended by the mascot and the hundreds of students who do not want the name or deciding to teach more of their culture, the school board spent almost $500k to defend it. Meanwhile, my school has broken sinks and soap dispensers, horrible toilet paper, and so many other causes that money could have gone towards.

         My school needs serious change and that’s not going to happen with an all white and ignorant school board and president. Please sign this petition to help. :)