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  • CORI

Letter to the Principal

Last night I was made aware that in the heart of this rebellion and uprising, seniors at my high school were still expected to take final exams today, Monday, June 1. My high school is run by an African-American female and I have no doubt that she understands the struggle to pay attention to schoolwork when there are much more pressing matters at hand. This is the email I sent at 9:20 am today, hoping that she would tell her staff to encourage discussion, citizenship, and activism, rather than distracting us with meaningless assignments: To whom this may concern, I am sure that by now you are aware of the uprising that is currently happening due to the wrongful murders of Black Americans like Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd. At this school you and the administration breed a culture of diversity and inclusion. We are taught to use our voices and get involved. That is exactly what so many of my peers are currently trying to do. We have spent the past few days protesting, spreading information, and thinking about ways to make change. We are all traumatized and deeply hurt by the state of this country. This movement is much bigger than us, and I say this not to make excuses, but to find some common ground, as I am sure this is as important to you as it is to all of us. Our school is such a diverse and strong environment, and it would be wrong of you to discourage us from focusing on current events and social activism, as we are a part of history, and we have the opportunity to be a part of changing the world.  The graduating class of 2020 has demonstrated academic excellence for the past 4 years, some even 6. They have prevailed through strikes, extreme weather, a global pandemic, and they are currently trying to work through global tragedy. To expect the class of 2020 or any students to be able to take final exams to the best of their abilities would be foolish. We are incapable of focusing our minds to english, physics, foriegn language, when our attention is on the streets with the Black Lives Matter movement. We cannot spread ourselves so thin at a time like this. And I would hope that you wouldn't want us to. Please understand that while we value education, and we have received the best possible kind in the years spent at this high school, our lives come first, and we should have the freedom to fight for equality when the fight is so necessary.  Cori