Administration Feeling Unreachable

May 19, 2019

The issues found within the staff is also experienced with the administration. As Beharry puts it, “they can’t be welcoming to minorities.”

He goes on to share common occurrences during their AVID events in which the administration only showed up “when we have tacos.” This made him question how much the administration really cared about the AVID program.

“AVID is a program that has a lot of minorities,” Beharry explained the importance of the AVID program. “We are first-generation students who are going to college. That is a big deal.”

Castro joined in with an anecdote of when AVID celebrated their college acceptances with administration present to congratulate them. She remembers how “some of the admin showed up late or some of them left early.”

While this was disappointing, Castro praised the “effort from the staff to get the administration’s participation. I think that is progress.”

“It is just more recognition of what the program is, not the people in class,” Renar explained the administration’s relationship with the AVID program.

Gianni Mendez ‘19 also believes that the administration can be unwelcoming to minority students. A few months ago, Mendez and Castro had petitioned (and succeeded) in adding an ethnic studies course to the Foothill curriculum. The process of pitching it required a meeting with Principal Bova.

“Denise, Eulau and I went up [to the office], and he said that there wouldn’t be enough people interested in having a social justice class or ethnic studies class,” Mendez recalls.

“It felt dismissive,” Castro added.

The ethnic studies class has gotten approved after getting enough signatures and will be available to anyone who has space in their schedule next year.

During the Senior SOAR Rally, as those receiving magna cum laude were being announced, she realized that her last name was blatantly wrong. The screen projected “Yliana Castro” instead of “Yliana Claudio.”

“That hurt so badly – that literally made me want to cry,” Claudio recalls her initial feelings. “That was a very special moment for me.”

However, the mistake made her “feel insignificant.” She attempted to tell the administration and a staff member, but nothing was done about it. She understands she still accomplished that goal, but it was undervalued by the error that was not fixed.

The meeting’s focus then turned to the handling of mistakes by the administration. Beharry used the examples of the blackface incident and pride week.

“They made mistakes, and instead of just apologizing, they didn’t,” Beharry shared his frustration. “Even the ‘apology’ for the blackface” did not apologize “for what you did.”

“It’s a repeating pattern that happened again this year, so it’s frustrating to me when it is not addressed,” Beharry continued to explain his frustration.

It feels like the only purpose is to clean up the mess that was created and not fix the issue at its core.

“I share that frustration,” Social Sciences Teacher Cherie Eulau added on. “I am still seething about it, and I’m still upset.”

She believes that the conclusion made by the District was wrong as it “missed the whole point” of the issue surrounding Pride Week.

Due to this, she feels “like they can’t be held accountable for all the things they are doing.” Although she has a hard time believing it now, she hopes that there is a solution to this issue.

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