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Blue Valley Northwest has been at the front of national news, with dozens of social media comments calling our school racist.

Many are demanding drastic change within our community since 2018 graduate Camille Sturdivant led a civil lawsuit against the district, principal Amy Pressly, former Dazzler coach Carley Fine and Dazzler mother and Cottonwood Point Elementary School teacher Katie Porter.

While we don’t know all the facts of the Sturdivant’s case, the dozens of people who have attested to experiencing racism at Northwest should
be enough for all of us to understand that we have a problem at our school. District superintendent Todd White also acknowledged in an email sent to BV families that “racially motivated conduct” took place.

“An African-American student experienced an incident of racial hostility due to the actions of a former coach. We are sorry for this injustice,” the email said.

All Blue Valley faculty and staff , full- or part-time, paid or unpaid, need to go through extensive racial and bias training to ensure that every student is receiving the best educational experience possible. The district refused to comment about the extent of their racial and diversity training, but clearly more training is needed.

The dozens of people who have attested to experiencing racism at Northwest should be enough for all of us to understand that we have a problem at our school.”

With a school population close to 75 percent white, the idea of racism lurking in the halls and classrooms of Blue Valley Northwest may seem like a nonexistent issue to the majority of students and faculty.

However, while the issue may be uncomfortable to talk about and accept, it’s necessary to educate ourselves about the reality of racism in order to acknowledge our privileges and stand with those who are at a disadvantage.

In order to support our students of color, we, as white students must understand our privilege as a majority white school. Most of the 75 percent of white students at Northwest will probably never be denied an opportunity based on preconceived stereotypes or be the subject of backhanded racist remarks.

We need to look at the facts and acknowledge that racism does occur here. We need to be cognisant of our behaviors, and understand that while some of our behaviors may not seem overtly discriminatory, they are still racist. Although racism is a deeply-rooted issue and some people’s opinions will never change, we need to be aware of racially-charged comments we hear and call out our peers for making those remarks. We have to stand up for each other. In this way, we are all allies in the ght to end racial oppression.

We’ve always heard that being a Husky at Northwest means being a part of a family, which means we have to support one another, stand up for the right things and hold each other accountable for our actions. While BVNW may have a negative reputation right now, this should only act as fuel to acknowledge this problem and do better as a community.