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Boston Latin headmaster to meet with black students tomorrow

In response to the Black at BLS protest, Boston Latin School Headmaster Lynne Mooney Teta sent out the following e-mail this afternoon:

Dear BLS community,

As you may be aware, a group of student leaders has begun a social media campaign to raise awareness of issues of race at BLS. I'm writing to let you know that, as a school community, we take the concerns raised by the student group Black Leaders Advocating for Change and Knowledge (B.L.A.C.K.) very seriously. The assistant headmasters and I have committed to working together with the students to create a better school climate for all. We have invited members of the group to meet on Friday for an important dialogue and to collaboratively plan the next steps we will take as a school community. Faculty and students across the school are committed to supporting this important work.

We look forward to sharing our plan as it develops.

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Comments

As John Connolly might say, "we must work together..."

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If so, I'm sure the headmaster would meet with them, too.

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Formed in sure you'd call them racist.

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Based on "white power" groups elsewhere, but I'd at least hear them out first.

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you pretty much just contradicted yourself. (Of course, you can fix that by dropping the word 'first' from that pre-judgement.)

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Adam is a walking, talking hypocrate

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I prefer to think of myself as a walking, talking hypercrate, because I can carry lots of stuff really fast.

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Ever read Being White In Philly and the shitstorm it has ignited, when every clown out there felt like it was their duty to take a giant dump on the author?

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I'm too busy with Boston to care about Philadelphia, a city that's much larger, poorer and more violent than Boston. But I did read the first couple of pages of the article - looks like Philadelphia's also full of a lot more racists than Boston as well.

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Back in the early 70s, if any of us BLS students wanted a meeting with that corrupt old fossil Wilfred O'Leary, not only would it not have happened, we would have gotten enough "misdemeanor marks" to last a lifetime just for suggesting it.

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Ugh, misdemeanor marks.

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I still think of them as misstameenah mahks.

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Black Leaders Advocating for Change and Knowledge (B.L.A.C.K.)

I hope that was intentional because that's how you know those kids are crafty.

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Do they really still have a headmaster? Problem number uno!

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It's just a fancy way of saying "principal," no? As an editorial type, I'm more concerned that the official BLS title is "head master" rather than "headmaster," but eh.

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This likely won't get published... but why do you have such an anti-White sentiment, Adam? I've been discriminated from all sides throughout my childhood yet still feel that everyone is entitled to have a say. If Whites want to celebrate/present their culture, let them. Same with Blacks. And little green men.

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As long as we're throwing out baseless generalizations about people you don't really know?

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Of what's happened in the past year on college campuses. They'll probably demand the headmasters resignation and call for a black only (segregate) safe place.

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much? And this is high school not college.

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Shame on the so-called adults both here on UHub and on twitter who feel the need to denigrate some high school students discussing their experiences. The students read this stuff. You're right, Adam, the first inclination shouldn't be to question these kids but find out what is going on. Good on the Headmaster to sit down with them. I'm a BLS alum and appreciate that.

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Um, we say "disparage" around here.

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Dictionary, it's your friend, friend.

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Wow, that plane flew by hella low!

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"Shame on the so-called adults both here on UHub and on twitter who feel the need to denigrate some high school students discussing their experiences. The students read this stuff."

Good! Let the students read this stuff. Enough with "safe spaces" and institutionalized coddling so prevalent in academe now. If they wish to make a stand, they must face what comes along with it, both good and bad. This is how life works when they are out of high school and college.

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They're not the ones needing a safe space.

They're exercising their First Amendment rights to speak up on an issue that's important to them. They didn't vandalize anything or block traffic, they acted just like responsible adults in a civil society - and they're getting results. You know, like all the anons here have been telling black kids they should do for a couple years now. And yet you tell them to suck it up and accept all the bad things because that's just how life is. Gosh, it's almost like you just can't stand black kids, but that couldn't possibly be the case, forget I even suggested that.

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How could you miss my point so entirely? I WANT these kids to speak up! But I also want them to know that when they do, they are going to get the kind of response, both positive and very negative, that shows up places like this, because that's what happens. My complaint was with the poster who said, in effect, "cool it, the kids are reading this". They need to read it to know what they are up against. I have no patience for the "safe space" type mentality, and all of my complaints about it in the past have been directed to the white snowflake "type".

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For completely misreading what you were saying and assuming you were saying the complete opposite of what you were.

As for your past comments, well, with so many anons, it's hard to know who's who. Even short of registering for an account, you can replace the default "anon" with something else (as long as it hasn't already been taken by a registered user). Several folks do that; might be worth it if you want to comment but don't want to register (one advantage of registering is that you lock in whatever particular name you want to use).

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The context of your original point did not come through at all. But, I never mentioned anything about safe spaces or whatever. I'm talking about adults hurling vitriol at high school kids. Unacceptable regardless of the underlying issue.

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If the student's complaints have been ignored, and the problem persists, it is time to call for action.

Some people expect rioting and school violence from Black Students...Can't handle when peaceful acts occur, so they attack those that are speaking out.

But this classy group is doing it the right, respectful way that will garner results

---Most people can't stand up for their convictions, because the majority of people might not be doing it. See, everybody's not doing it, so it must be wrong. And since everybody is doing it, it must be right. So a sort of numerical interpretation of what's right.

MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR., sermon delivered at Detroit's Second Baptist Church, Feb. 28, 1954

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Is that we only hear one side, because most schools cannot release information on investigations of kids and the findings of those investigations.

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The "safe spaces" and "institutionalized coddling" movement is mostly on the college level.

I will venture to say that high school kids of color, in a public school city environment, are probably pretty well aware of racism in their daily lives, and these particular kids are indeed taking a stand and facing the problem. Kudos to them.

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What is "white culture"?

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the tea Party, Dropkick Murphy's, Utah and the beach.

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Marriage, careers, 401Ks, and the like...

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Because black people do none of those things.

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Opiod addiction and starting senseless wars that killed thousands of Americans.

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Also thuggery, drug dealing, teen pregnancy and welfare. Oh wait...

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You know, where cities post maps of meth labs and the state has the nation's seventh highest teen pregnancy rate. Leave them out of this discussion, please.

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Some states just have better family values.

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Don't talk about the Southie people that got priced out and now live on the South Shore like that!!

Have some respect.

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My non-white friends have those too, funny how the real world works.

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Using guns to take over and occupy federal property, stealing government vehicles, stealing utilities, destroying property, stealing and selling native American artifacts ... and NOT being arrested and removed (or even quarantined) by federal agents.

That's mighty white of them!

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they're Mormon...

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Shopping at Old Navy, going to baseball games, listening to Pearl Jam, etc.

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a white person in charge of black people (kids in this case). There is a good chance this topic will come up in this meeting, it has been a common theme among black student protests across the country.

Also, this could be the beginning of the end of Lynn Teta. Another trend is to simply get rid of those who have let environments like this take place, even through no fault of their own. I actually worked with Lynn Teta a long time ago, and as much as she is a hard working administrator who is very smart, she can come off as unfriendly I think, and I wonder how this will play with people who don't know her.

That's all just speculation on my end but depending on how satisfied the minority's students are, she could be in trouble.

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aggression?

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Are they into passive aggression?

(note that the terms Headmaster and Submaster are really quite archaic - I've never heard them used in other areas of the US)

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Now you're just baiting him.

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And Roxbury Latin still uses the term, and I assume used the term back in 1645.

Also:

http://harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Headmaster

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Twenty years before Harry Potter, my high school promoted a teacher, Mr. Baton, to vice principal.

It just isn't used much outside of New England and parts of the mid-Atlantic.

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And defeats them in a sportsball match and you have your typical college sports editor hard at work.

Oh, yes, that was a fun meeting I had with the dean of students after that headline ran ...

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Obviously, I didn't know.

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Another trend is to simply get rid of those who have let environments like this take place, even through no fault of their own.

How can you say through no fault of their own?
Many times, if truth be told, the Powers That Be Choose to ignore, sugarcoat, dismiss, cover up the problems.

(Schools, Workplaces, Law Enforcement, Government.)

In school, I wished we black students did rally together and speak up demanding changes.

Been there, experienced it in the workplace, spoke up, and I was let go. I was 1 against HR, and Company dysfunction.
Those allowing the hostile, racist environment are still there.

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I'm not saying the principal/school did the right or wrong thing here. I have no idea what happened, except for the allegations from these two girls. But I have seen kids lie, parents lie, and yes, I have seen teachers, cops and administrators lie as well. But the school can't come out and call these kids lying, or address the concerns publicly. The kids however, can say whatever they want, and they won't be questioned by anyone in public except by some anonymous people on the internet.

Racism is tough to ______. It is tough to stop, it is tough to investigate, it is tough to make people feel safe from, it is tough to punish people for, it is tough to educate about, it is tough all across the board. I really feel that those in charge are in a no win situation sometimes ,even if they try to do the right thing, because the victims find themselves often times not accepting the solution, because that solution doesn't always make their lives better or easier (if racist bullies get suspended/punished, victims might find themselves even further ostracized by their peers, often times making the situation worse).

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Perhaps Latin splits the word to emphasize that the principal is a sort of first amongst equals? I'm sure it has fallen out of general usage, but I believe the official title of Latin faculty members is "Master".

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based on his Athenian privilege. He therefore referred to himself as a Scolarch rather than headgreek.

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Would anybody in there right
mind ignore a binder full
of racial complaints? It
doesn't add up. In most
workplaces even the hint
of a racial complaint sends
managers and supervisors
Running for cover.

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I guess it depends on what was in the binder. If it were a bunch of tweets, and it wasn't clear who the author was, what would the headmaster do? If @boston23423 tweeted a racial slur, how would they prove that the author was a student?

I'd like to think if it were emails, or confirmed tweets from current BLS students, the headmaster wouldn't be so foolish that they wouldn't act on this.

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And look at the facts it obvious it for attention and being driven by our culture of being offended. You have two students who make a video already wearing custom SJW tshirt. Their video was scripted and they both were probably encouraged by some moronic far left teacher.

This was planned over a period of time.

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These kids are smart enough to figure out how to do this all by themselves - and smart enough to rehearse what they were going to say before they turned on the camera. Even the pros do that, amazing as that is to believe. So?

It's been several days now, so I realize the memory might be fading, but see if you can remember what holiday it was on Monday. Do you think there might have been a symbolic reason to post their video on that day?

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Adam:

Perhaps you are too close to this story with your daughter in the same class as these girls?

Some of the issues they raise should be investigated (using the "n" word in the hallways with no fear of reprimand), but some of their complaints are whiny and petty.

I know one of the girls in the video and her mom, and they are always complaining about something.

As for Lynne not addressing their concerns initially, that is nothing new. The administration ignores a lot of things at BLS (severe verbal abuse of students by teachers, students with serious mental health issues, teachers retaliating against students when they report teacher misconduct, etc.).

I could list a lot of other problems at BLS, but I do not want to out certain people who fear reprisal.

I am surprised that these girls spoke up, given the culture of retaliation at BLS. They are seniors on the way out with college applications in and recommendations written and records sent off, so maybe they feel safe now to speak out. Guaranteed this would not have come from a student who has years more to go at BLS.

I have had children graduate from BLS, and I work with a population where we see A LOT of BLS students with all kids of physical and mental health issues due to their experiences at the school.

BLS is not the utopia that people think it is, and it is not the best school in Boston (by a long shot). If I had to do it all over again my kids would all have gone to private school, even if we had to both work 3 jobs to pay for it.

I am sure there will be calls for Lynne to step down, which will further destabilize the school. With serious budget cuts looming and the school seriously under resourced as it is, this is not time to clean house in the administration.

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My daughter does know one of the girls - their circles have overlapped over the years, I think they were once in the same play organized by Mr. J at the Roche Center, and they were in the same home room last year - but they don't hang out together and she hasn't been at all involved in this particular thing (she knew about it, BLS kids are great at keeping up with things, but I learned about it from Facebook, not her).

The fact that I'm spending probably way too much time commenting on it (as opposed to doing a lot of actual reporting on it - it was interesting to see the Herald devote half the front page and then an entire inside page to it) is because a) I find it an interesting issue and b) because it's the sort of that can bring out strong reactions and, to be honest, of the type I just don't agree with.

Yes, even if BLS is no longer is a sort of Harvard boot camp, it can still be a tough place and it's not for everybody.

Has anybody actually called for the headmaster to step down over this?

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Kudos and much respect to you Adam for great Journalism.

And your right to report, engage, question, defend, agree and disagree. Is protected. (Just like the Black students rights)

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I have had children graduate from BLS, and I work with a population where we see A LOT of BLS students with all kids of physical and mental health issues due to their experiences at the school.

This is interesting.

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Throw teens, especially when sleep deprived (maybe one of these years they will wise up and start the school day later) into that and, yes, you can have problems. I don't know if BLS actually caused all the problems or exacerbated existing ones, but the result is the same - some kids wind up dealing with some major issues.

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One of the reasons I dropped/flunked out of BLS after three years and opted for a high school closer to home (in the pre-busing era when one could do that) is that I just couldn't stand getting up that early to make the long commute any longer. It is a medical fact that teenagers require more sleep and has nothing to do with the stereotype of the "lazy teenager". I wasn't out till all hours partying (that came later). Starting the school day later would be a practical change for the better.

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T-shirts aside, use of script to create video is a pretty regular occurrence and whether they were encouraged or not is a mute point. And, yes, there was some planning involved (as some sort of planning is usually involved when one is creating something), methinks.

Want to try again?

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I believe *moot* point is what you were going for.

Care to try again?

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