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Thursday, April 3, 2008


I shall end this reflection with the last few moments of Senator Robert Kennedy's comments the day Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. I think that Ms. Wanda Riley, principal of Bethel High School, Mr. Mark Wenzel, district spokesman for Bethel School District, School Superintendent Tom Seigel, members of the Building Bridgesgroup, Pierce County Sheriff's deputy Ken Bord, Bethel High's resource officer, and Bethel High School Board members are to be congratulated and thanked for the courageous steps they are taking to support the students in resolving the issues that led to "the appearance of racist graffiti, nooses, fights and unsubstantiated rumors of violence that resulted in hundreds of students staying home two days at the Spanaway school in recent weeks."

(all information here comes from the article, Bethel High School to close campus at lunchtime; gang, drug concerns cited, reporter Debbu Abe. the news, April 3rd, 2008, 02:08 PM, Pacific Daylight Time)

Highlights I have chosen from the article are: the goal of the steps taken; one item Principal Riley says the school's investigation has turned up; a program that is being put in place to help student volunteers and staff members prevent racial incidents, and one board member's hope for the school district.

The Goal: "'The goal is to create a schoolwide culture where students take a stand against any kind of bullying or harrassment,' said district spokesman Mark Wenzel..."

The Item: (Principal Wanda Riley) "added that the school's ongoing investigation into the race-related incidents has turned up information that a group of students calling themselves the 'Rebels' includes some teens who are white supremacists."

The Program: ..."administrators said Bethel High plans to provide separate diversity training sessions this spring for about 50 student volunteers and staff members. Designed by the Anti-Defamation League, the 'comprehensive anti-bias program' teaches participants how to respond when they hear people say racial slurs or discriminatory remarks."

School Board Member Future Hopes: ..."board member Joy Cook said she' like to see consistency districtwide in cracking down on students' use of racial slurs and diversity training at all the high schools and junior high schools."

Here are three questions and a request I would like to leave with you: 1. how did you feel reading what I have written here; 2. what do you think of the steps the administrators are taking at Bethel High School; 3. are there other individuals or groups that you think might benefit by using the Anti-Defamation League's diversity training sessions;

My request: Please note that I focused on steps being taken to deal with racial incidents. Read the article for youself so that you can see what steps are being taken to meet gang and drug related concerns.


Senator Robert Kennedy urged his listeners that sad night when Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was killed to remain calm and work together.


EmeraldPrincessOnline said...

That's a tall order to fill: "...remain calm and work together"...but it is worthy and we must press on.

We are privileged to have lived through this period in our nation's history.

We have all come a long way. There is much farther for us to travel.

JosephMcG said...

And we can have fun on the journey as we sincerely and honestly support each other...
always God walks in our midst


Patty Cake said...

VERY moving, Joseph! Many speeches by Robert Kennedy were so moving and sincere! What a wonderful man he was!

Stephanie Frieze said...

Joseph, you always bring focus and honesty to the table. We have lived in extraordinary times and I have often wondered how differently many things would have gone had not some great people been taken from ustoo soon.

Lorraine Hart said...

To answer your first question posed, I would have to say this news makes me both hopeful and impatient...and then hopeful once again...because I want hope.

I'd be thrilled to see this program implemented throughout the school systems, police force and other public service systems, corporations, the PTA, the Scouts...oh the list goes on!

This is as necessary to our survival as CPR classes...our hearts need to be restarted. I add my congratulations to the Bethel School District.

JosephMcG said...

You Tube has many items on lynching... well worth the time reflecting about