Boston Latin School students say racism investigation didn’t go far enough

They said officials only interviewed one percent of the school’s students.

Boston Latin School students Meggie Noel, left, and Kylie Webster-Cazeau speak to a city committee about their student-led racial insensitivity awareness campaign in January.
Boston Latin School students Meggie Noel, left, and Kylie Webster-Cazeau speak to a city committee about their student-led racial insensitivity awareness campaign in January. –Shiho Fukada/The New York Times

Student activists at Boston Latin School say the district’s investigation into claims of racism at the school was too limited in scope and failed to reflect the “racial climate’’ there.

Less than 10 students were represented in the investigation, which is less than one percent of the school’s nearly 2,600 students, according to a statement from B.L.S. BLACK, a student group that sparked a movement after they posted a video criticizing the school’s handling of race issues to YouTube last month.

“Interviews with such a small percentage does not reflect a complete assessment of the racial climate at BLS,’’ the group said in a statement released Tuesday.

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The report conducted by Boston Public Schools found that school administrators did not adequately investigate an incident in which a student allegedly used a racial slur and made threats involving lynching toward another student. Superintendent Tommy Chang said Monday that the investigation is now closed, though some activists are still calling for the school’s headmaster to step down.

The group outlined a list of goals to create a more racially inclusive environment that include an apology from the headmaster, an online portal where students can report incidents of discrimination, and the creation of a cultural respect code that all parents and students would sign each year. Activists also want students and alumni to be involved in implementing the district’s recommendations.

In the long term, students want the school to create an alumni of color mentoring program, as well as expand the “Praefect Program,’’ which allows students to take on responsibilities within the school during study halls and after school. Expanding the program would increase trust and transparency between students and faculty, they said.

They also called for mandatory cultural proficiency workshops that will increase dialogue and understanding of racial issues and adding a class or series that would incorporate an African history class.

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