CUSD Students Fighting Against Racism

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Students and parents attending a protest at the District office.

Isabel Cravens, Copy Editor

 

  Students in the Capistrano Unified School District (CUSD) combat racial injustice by spreading awareness and organizing protests demanding anti-racism actions and a more diverse curriculum.  

  These actions and events are mainly due to a large instagram account (@cusdagainstracism) and website (cusdagainstracism.org), where current students and alumni spread resources, petitions, websites, and other information regarding racial injustice. 

  The organization has task forces based on different schools all around CUSD, and has their very own for Aliso Niguel. 

  The organization has also published an open letter, containing hundreds of experiences of racism students have experienced while in CUSD. With the number of stories in the hundreds, they range from micro-aggressions to heavily triggering events. The open letter was made for the purpose to compile racist experiences as a way to force the CUSD board to acknowledge and take action against the issue. 

  Speakers representing the desires of CUSDAgainstRacism presented themselves at a board meeting on Aug. 19, 2020 demanding more diversity in the curriculum and to take action against racist behavior in CUSD. 

  The board responded with anti-bias training, a class about ethnic studies, and some members were offered the chance to join a Cultural Proficiency Task Force: a group designed to implement diverse cultures and such as part of the curriculum.

  CUSD or more specifically Aliso Niguel, is no stranger to allegations of racism. A football game became controversial in 2018, with the Santa Ana High School principal claiming racist remarks such as “build the wall!” and signs that read “we’ll Trump ya” on the school’s red, white, and blue game night meant to commemorate the victims of the 9-11 terrorist attacks; these were seen as “racially tinged intimidation” to the schools 99% hispanic population. 

  There is still a long road ahead of the fight for racial injustice throughout the Capistrano Unified School District and beyond, but the awareness and impact of organizations such as these make a lasting impact directly on the lives of students, and inspire change.