Institute a zero-tolerance policy regarding racism at St. Agnes Academy

Institute a zero-tolerance policy regarding racism at St. Agnes Academy

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A St. Agnes Student started this petition to St. Agnes Academy

Dear Saint Agnes Academy,

Recent events surrounding the Black Lives Matter movement have motivated us to reflect on instances of racism within our local and school communities. When we examine past instances of racism and intolerance at St. Agnes, we identify areas where we could have been better. We must continually evaluate our actions and seek ways to improve. The best way to move toward greater protection for our community against racism and bias is to adopt a Zero Tolerance Policy prohibiting any racist acts. St. Agnes’ statement against racism states that “education and prayer will always be our first resource” in regards to racism, and “if hateful actions or words persist, an individual may be asked to leave our community.” While this is a strongly worded policy, it can do more to deter racism. The current policy leaves room for individual bias when administering the policy by using the word ‘may.’ It also allows for uneven administration of the policy across similar circumstances. There can be no grey area in a strongly worded policy that is truly evenly enforced. A more unambiguous deterrent is more effective because it makes clear that substantiated acts of racism and intolerance will absolutely result in dismissal from the St. Agnes community. 

Zero Tolerance Policies have been instituted in high schools and other institutions around the country, and they have proven effective. Recently a South Texas College of Law student was expelled for posting racist speech on social media. It is unlikely that the school's actions changed the student’s racist beliefs. Instead, the school’s actions sent a message. Had the Student’s actions gone unchecked, it would have sent a message of approval. By quickly denouncing racist actions, we don’t provide an atmosphere for racial intolerance to grow. If we are vigilant in identifying and condemning racism, perhaps one day it will be extinct. For these reasons, we ask you to update St. Agnes’ statement against racism and institute and enforce a zero-tolerance policy regarding racism. 

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