The students at Rogers High School are paying attention to the world around them. They are working to create a learning environment that values all people and celebrates freedom of thought. They are on the right side of history.
I would like to thank the young women and Rogers High School staff who put the Black Lives Matter logo on our gym floor, the Newport Public Schools staff and students building the Diversity and Relevance Committee, the elected and volunteer members of our City Council, School Committee, and Planning Board who are trying to do the right thing, and the numerous members of the public, our teachers, and administrators who have spoken, written, and worked tirelessly in support of Newport students.
I am dumbfounded by adults who feel threatened by students and want to tear them down with hateful letters, comments, and speeches. These same adults seek to undermine the Black Lives Matter movement despite the facts, despite the atrocities our country has inflicted upon Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color. You may disagree with politics, but to disagree with this mission leaves me wondering, where is your sense of humanity? If white backlash, red-lining, ghettoization, predatory lending, generational poverty, over-policing, the War on Drugs, mass incarceration, toxic stress, or social determinants of health (to name just a few concepts) are not well understood, please do not wait any longer to educate yourself. The study of our country’s complete history, a history of countless contributions from BIPOC and simultaneous efforts to marginalize them, is at your fingertips today in the form of countless books, articles, podcasts, films, and reputable journalism. There is no excuse for refuting this knowledge.
Stephanie Winslow , Newport
Editor’s Note: Winslow is a member of the Newport School Committee.