My name is Zoe Diskin and I graduated from Pierson High School in 2015. My friend and former classmate Maya Buckner brought to light a shared feeling that many alumni have, and suggested we do something about it.
Many members of the Class of 2015 are asking the Sag Harbor School Board to listen to the following message:
With all of the upheaval in the country and throughout the world right now regarding racism and systemic oppression, we have found ourselves thinking back to our education and experience at Pierson Middle-High School and Sag Harbor Elementary School.
Growing up in an area with such privilege and very little diversity, we have found that we are woefully uneducated when it comes to topics of prejudice, privilege and systemic racism. It was not until we left the safety bubble and area of extreme privilege that is the East End of Long Island that we even began to understand the true power and significance of language used against the Black community, as well as the struggles that Black and Indigenous people of color experience every day.
We greatly enjoyed our experience at Pierson Middle-High School but, upon reflection, cannot think of one time when we ever read a book written by a Black author, discussed race, Black history, or even heard the terms “systemic racism” or “redlining.”
With this said, we are writing to ask that Pierson Middle-High School incorporate lessons about anti-racism, systemic oppression and Native American history into the school’s curriculum. These are not topics that can be covered in one or two assemblies but instead must be incorporated into the curriculum as a whole.
It is never too early to begin discussing these topics with students, no matter how uncomfortable it may feel at times.
The letter also was signed by Maya Buckner, Emily Morrissey, Meg Schiavoni, Audrey Owen, Olivia Caligiuri, Rebecca Dwoskin, Shane Hennessy, Molly Vorhaus, Micaley Nill, Annabel DeGroot, Jake Kushner, Shannon Keane, Theo Gray, John Chisholm, Rachael Miller, and Zoe Vatash — Ed.
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