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May 28, 2024
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Letters to the Editor: Racism Going Unchecked in Cornwall Schools

August 10, 2022

July 2022

Racism Going Unchecked in Cornwall School District:

My child currently attends Cornwall Middle School.

It’s disheartening as a hard working parent to have my child walk in from Cornwall Middle school daily with stories about how kids in her class mock children of color and kids that have a different sexual orientation. This has been an ongoing issue where I’ve spoken to the teachers, Principle and Assistant Principle. I’ve escalated this issue to the superintendent, Senator Skoufis, Cornwall Mayor, and Governor Hochul about the fact that this is a broader issue that needs to be addressed via workshops and sessions schools. Assemblies should be required and held on the subject of DEI, tolerance, and inclusivity regularly. It should also be strictly enforced. Our children go to school to learn and develop healthy relationships. Not to be ridiculed because of their race or religion. We live in a highly sensitive climate but I urge you to highlight this story to force the schools to take action. Here is just a snippet of my child’s entire existence at Cornwall middle school.
Race Example: A video on 6/27/22 was presented on the topic of Juenteenth. A classmate said to my child “I don’t know why this holiday is a big deal, when you (as in my child) we’re slaves, we fed you and gave you a place to live, that’s good enough”. When a slave was shown on tv, my child was mocked and told “hey that looks like you”. This is just one day in the life of my colored child at Cornwall middle school. Every eeek this school year my child comes home with horror stories, The teachers do not discipline the students nor do parents ever get called. Unfortunately, This issue starts at home and our kids are left to deal with this trauma. With all the issues going in schools, our kids just seem to never be safe!

Sexual Orientation example:
A girl who identifies as gay had her pants pulled down by boys in the school. It went unchecked. A black girl with a newly straightened hairstyle had water poured over her head on the bus. These kids never came forward because they were outnumbered by white children or straight children. These kids say “why are you upset, it’s not a big deal”. When my kids personal issues were brought to the school, they offered to take action, but nothing had changed. Also, the teachers in the classroom neglect to escalate the issue, ever. If my child was scared or didn’t speak up like the other kids this issue would be further kept under wraps. Students continue to harass other students and the teachers NEVER do anything about it. They also receive No consequences for their actions. I feel completely powerless as a parent. I have to worry about active shooters, racism, and Covid.

This has been an issue since the beginning of this particular school year. It’s more than “not right” it’s downright horrible, unfair, and cruel.

I ask that you please contact me to discuss and hold the schools accountable for fostering a safe space for our children!

Alisha Meekins


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