Watch to the end. This kid is smart and articulate. He destroys the school’s policies on equity and diversity and makes a good case for these having caused racism where none had been before. But it’s his last few lines that make an excellent point and cause the Board to look shell-shocked.
BRAD TAYLOR: I just finished my freshman year… I’m going to give you a glimpse of what is actually going on in our schools. Despite the board’s attempt to deny it, district 196’s schools are quickly becoming a place where promoting activism is actually more important than promoting education. I’ll take you back to my first day, this fall. The principal came out and gave us a heartfelt speech about equality and standing together. He began to list countless races, such as Latinos, Asian, expressing how much they matter and how important they are. But never once did he mention an identity that reflects me or half the kids that were in the class.
Members of the board, I know you haven’t been to school in a while and I know most of you don’t have any kids left in the school district.
But you must admit how uncomfortable it would be to be characterized just by your skin color on the first day of school, and be thought that you were wrong just because of your skin color.
I’ll never forget the look one of my friends gave me from across the room as we were sitting there listening to this blatant bias being expressed in the so-called “equity statement” by the leader of our school.
To be clear, I don’t need you to tell me that I matter, but hearing the condolences given to other races and leaving just one race out, inevitably you’ll start to feel like you’ve done something wrong. And in our principal’s attempt to unify us, he instead created unwarranted boundaries and barriers between his students, pitting us against each other based on characteristics that we can’t control.
In another separate instance, I was told that writing “all lives matter” on the whiteboard was political and could be seen as offensive. When I questioned the teacher after class, she told me that she didn’t have an answer but she had to erase it, and it was quickly erased.
There are political signs all over RHS, about specific races that matter, specific sexual orientations that matter, and specific perspectives that matter. But when I questioned the RHS administration about how these signs were political, they told me they were supporting human rights. So when I questioned why the equity statement didn’t represent all students, they told me that to even ask that question was outlandish and offensive. And when I asked why that was, they told me that “whites have a pretty good situation right now.”
Is that not racism? Disregarding my question because of the color of my skin. To be honest, after enduring a year of the people in charge telling me that I’m a racist and I’m privileged and pointing out our irreversible differences, I’ve never noticed race more. It’s becoming the first thing I notice when I meet someone, which has never before been the case.
RHS administration confidently told me that RHS students and staff are happy with their equity statement, but from my experience talking to other students, this is not the case.
Many kids disagree with their teachers but they are too scared to stand up because they’re worried their grades will be docked and their learning experience will be affected.
My Honors Government teacher has mentioned that Democrats care more about all people while Republicans only care about themselves. And he’s also infered to us that socialism is better than democracy. He had a statue of a socialist leader in his classroom. I have been told by a lot of kids that they just stay silent and adjust their schoolwork to reflect an “acceptable opinion” to secure a good grade.
I’ve been approached by multiple teachers who told me in private that they agree with me and they support me standing up but they can’t say it in front of the class for fear of being disciplined by the administration in some way or losing their jobs.
There is clearly only one way to think in this district, and that is that they are teaching their kids to shut up if they don’t agree. Memebrs of the board, take a good look at yourselves in the mirror tonight and ask, are you really standing up for the equality of all people, or are you just pushing a damaging political ideology on our students?
A fellow coworker at m job, who by the way is of color, discretely told me that the school seemed to be pushing a very “leftist agenda” in class. This proved that not everyone is happy with your school, and not everyone who isn’t happy is white.
Due to these instances I have mentioned, and many more that I don’t have time for in this five-minute speech, I have decided to leave this district and continue school on a private Christian school online.
There will be sacrifices, and I will not get to walk in the graduation ceremony or attend milestones at RHS, but I will be able to learn an environment that is not intent on punishing me daily for my skin color and political views.
Regardless of how you take my speech, whether you shrug it off as malarky or FOX News talking points, I encourage you to think about it. Because someday, I am going to be a leader. I may be the president, a governor, or just a professional golfer.
Don’t ever stop believing that everybody has value, no matter their skin color or personal beliefs, it’s a shame that you’re not going to be able to say that I was an alumni of RHS in District 196