The Pacific Times | The Only Student-Run News Website in Natomas

Student Voice: The Junior Tutorial Incident

By Christopher Loupeda
Staff Writer| The Pacific Times 

On Wednesday August 12th, during a Zoom for the Junior Class an NP3 High student was bullied, soon after this an unidentified person yelled the N-Word three times. Unfortunately, the immediate response to the bullying was for the most part, laughing. The response to the racial slurs was mixed; some were in shock and some defended their fellow classmates. However again, some laughed, and considering the events of this past summer, that was the worst reaction anyone could have to this situation. 

I for one, and our administration, want to stand for change. Immediately this meant changes to Zoom safety. The changes included: 

  • The introduction of waiting rooms for students during the tutorial period, teachers will now admit each student individually. If teachers do not recognize the individual they will not accept them. 
  • Participants will be muted and the chat will be disabled in certain Zoom meetings, especially larger ones. 
  • Larger meetings will require participants to ask for permission to unmute and chat from the leader of the meeting.
  • Tutorial Links are only shared on google classroom from now on.

The school is also in communication with the district and Zoom representatives for further safety measures. Students are also encouraged to NOT SHARE links for the Zoom.

Support for students during this situation followed in Zoom meetings right after. Junior advisories came together and debriefed the situation and created action plans to improve. In the two weeks following the incident, additional Zoom meetings and guest speakers joined meetings across the school to denounce this behavior and encourage change within the school. NP3 did a good job in reaching out to me personally, however that is only because I “spoke up.” I reached out to other Black students and unfortunately they did not receive the same concern. Just because a student does not “speak out” does not mean they weren’t hurt or offended. NP3 does not have many Black students, reaching out to every single one in the junior class would not have been difficult and would have been an appropriate action. 

Nevertheless, certain actions have been done that I must applaud the school for. Last week, on a Zoom meeting I met our new school psychologist for all NP3 campuses. Mr. Greene, a Black man from Louisiana helps diversify NP3 staff, while adding another outlet concerning race-related issues. I truly believe this is a step in the right direction. Furthermore, I would like to applaud my advisory Mrs. Laura Siegltiz. She held an advisory meeting that showed a powerful anti-bullying ted talk. We then did an eye-opening privilege test. She rounded the advisory off with her lecturing about being anti-racist and anti-bullying. She set an example for what the school should regularly do. 

Another step in the right direction are some stricter measures concerning hate speech and bullying. I have talked with the principal Ms. Melissa Mori and she was motivated to change things on campus and showed genuine concern towards issues in the campus community just as all the staff did. The following have been addressed to administration already, these are to inform readers of what is in the works: 

  • Absolute no tolerance to slurs (Race, sex, sexuality, religion, disability)
  • Tougher measures when hate speech and bullying are done
  • Focusing discipline on correct things 
  • Students in NP3 Elementary will receive education towards being anti-racist and anti-bullying 
  • Continued talks about privilege
  • Students clubs encouraged to engage in social justice  

I would personally like to add two more things the school could do:

  • Teach about the history of these slurs
  • Have staff that represents the outlook of the school more 

Personally, I was reluctant to group hate speech and bullying in the same article. However, many of the measures to stop one can help stop the other. One thing we all do know is that it takes all of us to stop it.  DO NOT:

  • Allow your friends to say slurs
  • Constantly use jokes where people are the center of comedy 
  • Laugh at racist jokes 
  • Laugh at people being publicly bullied and shamed 
  • Be bothered by being called “sensitive” when really, the person who said the slur or joke is in the wrong

Doing these things is only supporting it. If you laugh it’s likely because you do not know how it feels to be offended deeply by a “joke” or to be put down by bullying. 

Nobody has the key, but these are guidelines to how we can become anti-racist and anti-bullying. I for one, was deeply bothered by the people among our school who laughed at the events on August 12th. Through consideration, action, and compassion we can learn from this and the events of this year to improve the environment of NP3.

I would like to take a moment to thank my teachers, counselors, principal, and the whole administration for listening to me and others, showing sympathy, and providing support during this time. I fear I’ve come across as unappreciative or even aggressive towards our administration which is not at all my intention. 

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