Boston Latin School leaders apologized to the school community on Thursday and removed a library exhibit of student writing assignments after receiving complaints about stereotyping and derogatory comments in assignments.
As part of an eighth grade civic action project, students were asked to write about stereotypes about their own neighborhoods in an effort to counter prejudice, school principal Rachel Skerritt and associate school principal Jonathan Mulhern wrote in a letter to the school community.
“However, the impact, particularly in select selections representing West Roxbury and South Boston, was one where students saw stereotypical and derogatory statements about the communities to which they belong,” Skerritt and Mulhern said. “The exhibit has been removed, although we know that does not remove the harm that has been done.”
An example shared on social media of a posted mission said: ‘To understand West Roxbury, you would have to be white and rich’ and also referred to Trump supporters, anti-maskers and ‘lightly racist white people’.
“We deeply regret and apologize to members of our school community who were hurt or felt less welcome at BLS as a result of this exposure, and we thank those who contacted our school staff to inquire. more and voice their concerns,” the school leaders wrote. “While our engaged and thoughtful educators aim to create the conditions for students to share their lived experiences with one another, we recognize that the display of these pieces has created an inaccurate perception that the views expressed are widely shared. or even approved by the school itself.”
In a statement, the district said it is “working with the school administration and our equity office to revisit this lesson, to continue our process of growing as educators and moving toward our goal of be culturally sensitive and anti-racist”.
“We understand that these trials have been deeply upsetting to members of BLS and the broader BPS and Boston community,” the statement read. “They were part of a bias-based lesson in which students had to write about their own neighborhoods and how they might be perceived by others.”