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I watched an excellent speech from a young American student as he addressed his school board. 

It was uplifting and worrying, all at the same time. 

Uplifting because he was the voice of reason and commonsense. It was worrying because he should never have had to make the speech in the first place.  

Here is a transcript. 

I just finished my freshman year at RHS. I've been a part of District One and Six schools now for ten years, and I'm going to give you a glimpse today of what's actually going on inside these schools.

Despite the board's attempt to deny it, district One and Six 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 at RHS 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 Latino, Asian, expressing how much they matter and how important they are. But never once did he mentioned a race or identity that reflects me or half the kids that were in the class.

Now, members of the board, I know you haven't been to school in a while, and I know none of you or most of you don't have any kids left in the school district, but you must admit how uncomfortable will be to be characterized just by your skin color in the first day school and be thought that you were wrong just because of your skin color.

So 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 and she just had to erase it, and it was quickly erased.

There are political signs all over RHS specific 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 that they were supporting human rights.

So when I questioned why the Equity Statement couldn'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, quote, whites have a pretty good situation right now, unquote. So is that not racism? Disregarding my question merely because of the color of my skin? To be honest, after doing 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. And 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 and talking with other students, this is not the case. I know many kids who disagree with their teachers, but they're too scared to stand up because they're worried that their grades will be docked and their learning experience will be affected. My honor is a government teacher. I'm not going to say his name, but he's mentioned that Democrats care more about all people, while Republicans only care about themselves. And he's also inferred to us that socialism is better than democracy. He had a statue of a socialist leader in his classroom.

I've been told by a lot of kids that they just stay silent and adjust their schoolwork to reflect an acceptable opinion to secure good grade. I've been approached by multiple teachers who have told me in private that they just want to say 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. 

Now, members of the board, I want you to take a good look at yourselves in the mirror tonight and ask, are you really standing up for the inequality of all people, or are you just pushing a damaging political ideology on our students? A fellow co worker at my job, who, by the way, is of color, discreetly told me that the school seemed to be pushing a very leftist agenda in class. This proves that not everyone is happy with your school, and not everyone who isn't happy is white. Now, due to all these instances I've mentioned and many more that I can't fit in this five minute speech, I've decided to leave this district and continue school on a private Christian school online.

And 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 in an environment that is not intent on punishing me daily for my skin color and political views. Now, regardless how you take my speech, whether you just shrug it off as malarkey or Fox News talking points, I encourage you to think about it. Because someday I'm going to be a leader. I may be the president, a governor, or just a professional golfer, but I will never stop believing that everybody has value, no matter their skin color or personal belief. 

And it's a shame that you're not going to be able to say that I was an alumni of RH Chasing District 196.

Thank you. Bye.

 

Unfortunately, I do not know the identity of the young man, but I want to thank him for speaking out. To the best of my knowledge he is referring to is Rosemount High School - a part of Independent School District 196, a nationally recognized public school district of choice located in the southern suburbs of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota. Known as the Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan Public Schools, District 196 is the fourth largest in Minnesota. 

If I am incorrect, please let me know and I will update accordingly. 

 

 

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