Students PETITION For School Name Change Because…Black Students Don’t Feel Safe

Students PETITION For School Name Change Because…Black Students Don’t Feel Safe

With her principal Jay Affeldt saying that he was “unaware” of the issues presented by a black student in his Wisconsin high school, a light is being shone on what is being heralded as the real reason white students and staff are racist towards black students… the name of the building they share, James Madison Memorial High School.

In a Change.org petition that has over 1,500 supporters, student Mya Berry goes through her reasons for demanding that James Madison change its name. This includes a few unproven incidents as proof that the Madison name is the root cause of these (again, unproven and vague) activities.

James Madison, the 4th president of the United States was an owner of over 100 black slaves. The significance of this name in association with my school has a negative effect on memorials black students. The lack of representation I feel in this school makes me feel more than unsafe. I do not feel supported by the majority of staff at memorial, especially considering the fact that I’ve gotten called n word multiple times, along with having an individual threaten me by telling me they would lynch me.

In my classes when discussing race, I’m told my perspective is just an opinion, and not anything valid to take into consideration. My school has had dress up days such as pimps and hoes, and the girls varsity soccer team had cornrows in their hair, as if my culture is some dress up day, and something to joke about.

So my thought to leave you with is: with all the injustice I and others face in James Madison Memorial High School, do you truly think it’s appropriate to glorify a man that enslaved my ancestors? With the education disparity between black and white students being a huge concern in the Madison Metropolitan School District, and if you truly care about black students, you would change the name of Memorial high school. Thank you.

Mya, if other students are targeting you with racist language and death threats, you should go to the school administrators and the police. Casually claiming that you’ve been threatened with death is a serious accusation and not one that most people think will be fixed by drawing up a petition.

As reported in The Capital Times, Berry did not report these incidents because she didn’t “feel safe” in reporting the incidents, which involved other students, but not in this school year.

So why now? Berry is currently enrolled in a “social justice class” where their teacher has asked students to consider the type of change they want to make in the world, with Berry saying that this petition is “[her] social change.”

It wasn’t death threats that prompted her toward this action, it was a Social Justice class. I wonder if her math teacher encourages her to make online petitions, too?

h/t Breitbart

Margaret M.

Internet Specialist at Warfare Media.

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