Dear Buckingham Charter Magnet High School Students and Families,
I wanted to speak to the recent media coverage surrounding the “Clarity on Black Lives Matter” article in the BCMHS yearbook and provide more information.
At Buckingham, we encourage students to be aware of what’s happening in the world around them and advocate for the change they want to see. Our service-learning requirement is an important part of being a Buckingham Knight and this includes being an active participant in our community. We encourage students to stand up for what they believe to be right.
The 2016-17 yearbook article “Clarity on Black Lives Matter” was first brought to my attention when several students in the yearbook class wanted to develop another article about other social prejudices and injustices occurring and shed light on another social perspective. These students were initially denied access to equal space in the yearbook. The yearbook project, which originally was intended to show intolerance of inequality and capture the BCMHS Knight experience, was becoming a source of contention and division.
With this in mind, our hope was to steer the yearbook class towards a revised and collaborative project that highlighted a broader cultural and socially diverse atmosphere at Buckingham, or “a celebration of our diversity”. Most importantly, I hoped for a project that gave every student in the yearbook class a place to share their own unique perspective. There was never any intent to silence or minimize the important perspectives, talent or hard work put into the original yearbook article.
Ultimately, I hope that we can all keep in mind that the entire matter stemmed from our students’ desires to show support for various groups in our society. As an educator, I am pleased that Buckingham Knights, with varied perspectives on the topic, advocated for what they believed to be right.
Moving forward, I encourage BCMHS students, staff and families to move forward as one community and embrace the BCMHS Learner Outcomes of:
Reach a solid foundation of lifelong learning through personal accountability.
· Be prepared to work individually and collaboratively.
· Respect themselves and others.
· Learn the importance of and engagement in civic responsibility.
· Develop a global awareness and appreciation of social and cultural diversity.
If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to come by my office and share them with me.
Mike Boles, Sr.