Letter from the school principal: “We must do better”

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Anthony Overton, Principal of Paso Robles High School.

A letter to Bearcat families, students, faculty, staff and the community:

Every day we strive to make Paso Robles High School a safe and welcoming environment where students can prepare for college, career and community and whatever else they want to pursue. The past few weeks have been incredibly difficult as acts of hatred and intolerance continue to occur despite the pressure for inclusion and acceptance. These actions present serious dangers for the cohesion of our school, the protection of human rights, and constitute a violation of the education code. Our staff are working tirelessly to resolve these lingering issues, but today I address you with a call to action, we must do better!

Our campus once again saw hateful, intolerant and inexcusable action when a rainbow pride mask was desecrated. The action of this student or students is unacceptable and intolerable. Individuals participating in acts of hate, like this one, will face the most serious consequences we have in the education code and will be reported to law enforcement.

Families, I implore you to have a conversation with your child about how words and actions can truly make a lasting impact on the lives of others. Even when used jokingly or without malicious intent, slurs and derogatory terms are damaging to the world around them. Hate speech becomes a human rights violation if it incites discrimination, hostility or violence against a person or group defined by their race, religion, ethnicity, gender or others. attributes.

Our students and our community must realize that these actions have a direct impact on the ability of faculty and staff to provide the safe and exemplary education we all want for our students. In order for all students to feel safe and welcome, we must accept our differences and come together as Bearcats.

Please join me in doing better for every student on our campus. We need to treat people with understanding and respect, even when we don’t agree. We must immediately report incidents of hatred and intolerance, because these incidents must stop. And remember, in a world where you can be anything, always be kind.

Anthony Overton, Principal of Paso Robles High School

About the Author: Staff News

Paso Robles Daily News press staff wrote or edited this story based on local contributors and press releases. News staff can be reached at [email protected]