Today on January 17th, 2017, a gathering was held in the Buena High School auditorium following the events that occurred last Friday. Two photos of Buena students had been edited to contain racist imagery and were spread online. After a weekend of reflection and discourse, students were able to come back to school and share their thoughts and feelings during this event.
Originally coordinated by Corina Martinez ‘17, president of the “We Stop Hate” club, to be an open forum in the library, the gathering turned into what Martinez called a school-wide assembly that invited individuals to go ahead and speak their mind about the whole situation.
The assembly attracted hundreds of students from the Buena campus. Some wished to simply attend to observe – others wanted to clear their minds about the current situation by expressing their discomfort and grief or possibly defending the students involved with what had happened.
Heather Arrambide, advisor for the “We Stop Hate” club, described and explained the club to the students in the audience that didn’t know what the club was about as well as the point of the assembly held today. The “We Stop Hate” club is a group of kids at Buena High that advocate for school-wide positivity, anti-bullying, and a close community within the school.
“Every Tuesday we meet to discuss more positive ways to help our campus and to help our students grow as a community. Some days we have potlucks and sometimes we post ‘quote cards’ around campus to inspire each other,” said Martinez when asked about her club.
“Typically we only have about 30 members involved in our club at a time,” said Martinez.
Administrators “apologized to the students” about what had happened, according to Martinez. They spoke about how the images do not represent Buena or Ventura Unified School District, echoing previous remarks. Martinez herself also spoke, saying “This is not Buena, this not our character, and this is not what we stand for.”
“The assembly was a crucial element of moving forward,” Martinez said after the assembly.
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