In the wake of the graffiti and subsequent fights, Spanish teacher Claudia Bautista-Nicholas asked her students to write letters to her answering the following question: “What issues are on our campus and what can we do about it?”“I feel perfectly safe, but that’s probably because I’m white.” Evan Perkins, sophomore.“The school is making too big a deal out of the whole situation.” Jonathon Gonzalez, junior.“Blacks and Latinos should be united, because they’re both minorities, not fighting each other.” Rafael Lopez, junior.“The students should do something soon, before the tension gets out of control. There needs to be more talking, more getting things out in the open.” Carlo Fraracci, sophomore.“[Straus] should step out of her little room and really get involved with the students.” Anna K., sophomore. “Instead of looking at this one incident, everyone should start thinking about hate crimes in general.” Paulina Flores Díaz, freshman. “You can’t just paint over what happened. If you cover the problems up instead of solving them, they’ll return.” Eli Rodriguez, junior. “I think it’s basically a competition: Who’s more macho, Blacks or Latinos?” Cindy Arevalo, sophomore. “I think that the problems begin in jail, go to gangs and end up here at school. There’s no way to stop it. Both groups are so full of pride and both want to prove that they are more powerful. What can we do to make them understand that violence is not the answer?” Anonymous. “Instead of being violent we should somehow get along and represent Samo as a great school. It’s going to take a lot of work, but I believe it can happen.” Anonymous. “There should be more clubs that bring peace, like my club La Sociedad. We are Latinos that try to help out our communities.” Anonymous“It would be good to research more on the history of both ethnicities, so that we can understand why they have problems.” Anonymous. “African Americans and Latinos are not taken seriously. We are stereotyped as only gangsters and fighters. We are seen as fools who only know violence.” Anonymous. (See related article on page 1)Ed. Note: Ollstein is a senior at Samo.
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