Photo: Chenery Middle School, Belmont
The principal of the Chenery Middle School said her school community is taking an “upsetting incident” against an Asian student will be addressed “with the seriousness it deserves.”
In an email to parents dated Wednesday, May 5, Chenery Principal Karla Koza said earlier in the week, as the Upper School student (7th and 8th grade) was walking to class they were spat upon by another student.
“At this time, it is not clear if this was a racially motivated incident. However, considering the times in which we are living we are addressing it with the seriousness it deserves,” said Koza, referring to the rash of attacks on Asians since March 2020 with the arrival of COVID-19. On Tuesday, May 4, research by the forum STOP AAPI Hate reported nearly 3,800 incidents involving Asians over the past year.
Koza said the school has responded with the following steps:
- Administration and guidance met with the student to better understand what happened.
- Administration and guidance met with the family to review the incident and address concerns and next steps for their child.
- Our School Resource Officer was notified.
- An investigation is in process to identify the other student involved.
On Wednesday, Koza spoke to students and staff about the incident.
“The resounding essential message is that there is no place for hate in our school. We all belong. We all deserve to be respected and cared for. I drew attention to the growing Asian hate that has been happening in this country and clearly articulated that it and any hateful acts are not acceptable,” she said.
Koza hopes that parents will have a conversation with their children to underscore the shared values of belonging and mutual respect. “To our AAPI community, please know that we support you and your children. We will not tolerate hate in any form.”
“I am particularly proud of the student who came forward to let an adult know this happened. I urge all community members to speak up in order to help us all be better and do better,” said Koza