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The Echo

The student news site of St. Louis Park High School

The Echo

The student news site of St. Louis Park High School

The Echo

Students unsatisfied with racial healing acknowledgement

Park underwhelmed by lack of action for National Day of Racial Healing
Will Carpenter
Photo illustration

On Jan. 16 the country acknowledged the eighth annual National Day of Racial Healing, something that is still unknown to most people. It’s a day for people to come together and acknowledge the sad reality of racism, all that has happened and the fact that it still exists.

Principle LaNisha Paddock said a lot of harm has come from racism, and one way to heal and grow from it is to come together and celebrate each other.

“There’s been harm in relation to race and racism,” Paddock said. “So how do we continue to educate ourselves about community members in relation to race, how do we have conversations, how do we educate? I think a part of healing is celebrating right and experiencing joy with one another.”

According to junior Lars Hagstrom, there was not enough done to acknowledge National Day of Racial Healing, and that having more class time to talk about issues of race would be beneficial. 

“I haven’t heard much about National Day of Racial Healing to be honest, none of my teachers have really talked about it,” Hagstrom said. “I think it’d be good if (there was) a certain class period or at some point we talked about that stuff. I think that’d be good for a lot of people.”

Junior Erek Boguki said he also hadn’t heard much about that day, but he thinks the school is doing a good job with supporting students with any racial issues.

“I have not heard anything about it,” Boguki said. “I have heard, though, of the school having a safe space where people can come in and talk about what they feel towards everything and everybody, and just a place where you are able to put your emotions out there.”

Paddock said it is important for all types of people to engage in the conversation of racism and racial healing, especially in the Park community.

“It’s just as important for people that don’t look like me or (people who aren’t) not BIPOC (black, indigenous, and people of color) to engage in observance, conversation and healing as well. I believe that what impacts people of color impacts all people,” Paddock said. “I think that that specifically applies to our community because we are so racially diverse, so I think it’s important that we celebrate that.”

According to Boguki, many students at Park feel isolated and uncomfortable because of the color of their skin, and one solution to that would be to hire more staff that look like them. 

“I feel like the school should try to hire more staff of color, so then the students can relate and have relationships with more people that look like them,” Boguki said. “I know a lot of times students don’t feel comfortable around some teachers because they don’t understand what they’re going through.”

Hagstrom said there are still things the school could be doing better about regarding the conversation of race, even if staff is doing a good job already.

“I think the school is doing a lot better focusing on stuff like that,” Hagstrom said. “But I think there still could be stuff that could be done, like taking maybe a class period every now and then to talk about this stuff.”

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About the Contributor
Will Carpenter, Echo Staffer
Hi, I’m Will. I live in St. Louis Park and I am a junior. This is my first year doing Echo and I am very excited. I have a younger sister and brother, and a dog named Bailey. I like to play baseball and football, and hang out with my friends. 

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