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Brookline students protest racism in school

Updated: Apr 13, 2016 – 6:06 PM

BROOKLINE, Mass. —

Students walked out of class Wednesday hoping to bring attention to what they call racial inequalities at Brookline High School.

“Kids were posting things like ‘we hate blacks’ and insensitive comments to women. And it’s going on two and a half months and no one’s gotten in trouble,” said Zaharia Karakashian-Jones.

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Students staged a sit-in at City Hall in protest of years of racism in the hallways. They called for greater diversity of teachers and punishment for students who make racist remarks. They said students will say things openly and online through an anonymous school message board meant for sharing information on assignments.

“I want the administration to show me that I am cared about. Because in all of Brookline. I feel as though I am small. I get the impression that I am not much more than a dressed down mariachi,” one student told FOX25’s Crystal Haynes.

Many had their own stories to tell. Zaharia described one time when she was telling a classmate that she was accepted into University of Southern California. 

“I probably only got in because of affirmative action, which is disheartening, because I worked really hard,” she said.

“People would ask if I have a green card. Where do I come from,” a student said.

Another student said that stereotypes persist on the swim team.

“Black students can’t swim. That he’s not meant to be on this team, he’s meant to be on the basketball team,” the student told FOX25.

The demonstration drew a crowd of former Brookline High Students and parents.

“Thirty years, it is still the same. So I feel their pain and their frustration,” said Scot Huggins, a former student.

Crystal Haynes went to the Superintendent’s office for comment and waited more than two hours and did not receive a response.


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