Foothill Tech supports anti-racism amidst spreading stereotype


Rihanna Samples

On April 21, 2023, Foothill Tech students united to show their support for anti-racism and inclusivity. Led through the Girl Up Club, students were encouraged to wear black on Friday, April 21 in order to stand up against incidents on campus involving hateful language. The idea behind wearing a unified color was to show students who may feel bullied or ostracized that Foothill is a school for everyone and everyone should feel like they belong on campus. From wearing all black to choosing black accessories, the majority of Foothill showed their support creating a positive impact against racism and exclusivity.

Ailanie Martinez, Reporter

Don’t let people get away with racist acts

— Mia Farag ‘25

Foothill Technology High School (Foothill Tech) tackled the issue of racism with a day of wearing black to stand for anti-racism and inclusivity on Friday, April 21, 2023.

Led by the Girl Up Club, students wanted to combat a stereotype that Foothill Tech has allegedly garnered as a racist school, following videos and rumors circulating the Ventura community. 

Sami Ali ‘25 and Mia Farag ‘25 prompted the event, coordinating with the Girl Up Club and the Associated Student Body (ASB).

“I hope we get more unity and I hope that it breaks the silence,” Farag remarked. “I just hope this encourages people to speak up.” 

Farag furthered that idea by saying, “I think a lot of people who are victims of racism stay quiet about it.”

In the blazing heat during lunch on April 21, 2023, students lined up in the quad for a refreshing water balloon toss that connected students of all grades. It was a friendly competition that brought smiles to everyone participating and really promoted inclusivity on campus. It fit the theme of the day perfectly by providing students with a fun activity that everyone could participate in. (Rihanna Samples)

Through the sweltering heat, many donned all black outfits, or had some black piece of clothing on, in an effort to promote a tolerant atmosphere on campus, while a smaller group of students wore white in defiance.

Assistant Principal Katie Tedford explained the approaches administrators take to combating racism, “There are two parts to addressing racism; there’s preventing it and there’s responding to it.”

“In terms of preventing it, we increase education,” she continued, sharing that Ethnic Studies and Social Justice (ESSJ) will be required for all students and implemented into the United States history course taken junior year. 

On responding to racism, Tedford emphasized that “you have to really thoroughly address [racism].”

“I would love to have our students … report [incidents] when they occur,” she finished.

Russell Gibbs, Principal of Foothill Tech, commented that “you have to create an environment of open dialogue … I think there’s so much of people not understanding each other.” He added, “Ultimately, we’re humans and we care about each other.”

If you see something, say something

— Martha Torres '24

Reassuring the Foothill Tech community, Gibbs concluded by saying, “We take this with the utmost seriousness … by all means, I know there’s work to be done … but we’re doing our best everyday and making sure everyone feels safe and appreciated.”

To report a situation or to find support, Tedford encouraged students to “always start with an adult at this school that you feel comfortable with.”

The day ended with students sweaty and energized, with much of Foothill Tech pushing for positive change by showing solidarity.

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