BIGLERVILLE, Pa. (WHTM) — Upper Adams School District is joining forces with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission after a social media movement alleged a pattern of racism at Biglerville High School.
PHRC Executive Director Chad Lassiter said racist behavior at schools is unfortunately not a unique situation, but the way the administration is handling it is rare.
“Schools are nothing but a microcosm of the larger society,” Lassiter said.
This school wants to be the change everyone wants to see by partnering with the top civil rights organization in the state.
“We heard that some voices weren’t being heard, and we are trying to find a way for that to happen more quickly,” said Upper Adams School District Superintendent Dr. Wesley Doll.
“They want to be intentional, and they want to strategize into bringing about true change, and not to whitewash it or sweep it under the rug,” Lassiter said.
Lassiter wants to make it clear — there is no overnight solution.
“We’re looking at systemic and structural racism. [Dr. Doll] didn’t create that environment in Adams County, and he’s committed to addressing it,” Lassiter said.
They’re addressing it in the short term through what they know best — education.
“Some specific types of training for our staff throughout our entire school district, focusing on our high school, first,” Doll said.
Although the 1,500 members of the social media movement “Racism at Biglerville High School” want more.
“That’s great, but until they start working together with victims, we’re still not gonna get any change,” said LaRock Hudson, a spokesperson for the page.
The page details anonymous accounts of minority students’ experiences in the school district. One student was told that they “don’t belong” because of their skin color, while another was called an expletive and a stain.
Many on the page said they’ve tried going to administration before and nothing was done. Dr. Doll says never again.
“I envision a continued relationship over the years to come,” Doll said.