A contingent of Boston Arts Academy students traveled up to Durham, NH, yesterday to perform at an annual UNH jazz festival. Sandra Marcelino reports what happened while they were eating lunch (AirDrop is an application that lets iPhone users exchange photos and other files):
My kid and her classmates were enjoying lunch peacefully not bothering anybody when some ignorant little derelicts thought it would be funny to send airdrop pictures of their mockery of Black history month.
These individuals sent these images to the tables of the only children of color in the room trying to incite who knows maybe a fight? I’m proud to say that our kids did not react ; reported this behavior and went and performed after this and Absolutely slaid the stage. Kudos BAA students; but this needs to be talked about because this is not OK . Since they (the other students) thought it was important for them to share their images, I think it’s important for me to share their images as well.
— Tonya (@TonyaTedesco) March 10, 2019
Boston Public Schools issued a statement tonight about the incident:
We are deeply disturbed that Boston Arts Academy students were subjected to racist conduct during a regional high school jazz festival out of state, and are ensuring that the affected students receive support. There is no place for such hateful and vitriolic conduct in our society. Boston Public Schools is working with the University of New Hampshire officials to review this incident.
The school's headmaster sent this message to parents tonight:
March 10, 2019
Dear Boston Arts Academy Families,
I am writing to inform you that Boston Arts Academy students who participated in the Clark Terry Jazz Festival at the University of New Hampshire (UNH) on Saturday were subjected to a disturbing incident of racism. Shortly before the students were scheduled to perform, a number of them received a racist image on their smartphones sent by one or more individuals nearby. This incident was completely unacceptable, and I am very sorry that our students had their otherwise positive experience disrupted by a hateful act.
When this was brought to my attention, I immediately began contacting the affected students to offer my support. We are working with the BPS Office of Equity and officials at UNH to ensure this incident is investigated and addressed.
Each and every day, we strive to foster a safe, welcoming, supportive, and inclusive environment at Boston Arts Academy and throughout the Boston Public Schools. I commend our students for carrying on with integrity, maturity, and respect after this deplorable incident occurred.
Boston Arts Academy is full of trusted adults, and we are always here for any students who wish to talk or are in need of counseling or other resources. Racism has absolutely no place in our society. We must do all that we can to support one another and stand up against this type of offensive behavior.
Anne Clark, Headmaster
Boston Arts Academy