Message from CHS’s Black Student Union President Jordan Kaitapu

Image+courtesy+of+%40cordovahighbsu+on+Instagram.+

Image courtesy of @cordovahighbsu on Instagram.

Jordan Kaitapu, Reporter

I want to address last week’s spirit day event on Tuesday, February 25th, that we wanted to end Black History Month with. The intended theme was “Targeted While Black: Hoods Up For Trayvon & Stephon.” Those who attended the meeting were supposed to have a guided conversation following a 30-minute Sacramento Bee documentary S.A.C. that gives perspective on the Stephon Clark case, which is familiar to Cordova’s campus from last year’s walkout I led to bring awareness to the injustices Black people face at the hands of law enforcement.

However, the meeting was hijacked ‘to make people comfortable’ or ‘show both perspectives.’ Although, showing different perspectives and making sure students are comfortable in the environment during meetings is important and always taken into consideration, the manner in which the meeting was hijacked was only to push contradicting agenda, agitate members, and silence those concerned. I was unaware such activity would take place during my carefully planned event, especially being imposed by our School Resource Officer (SRO) Tracy Jacobs who seems to have been encouraged by some staff in particular as a tool for intimidation. Not only did she display the exact ignorant behavior that is commonly exhibited by other officers in regards to Black lives, but she also enforced such by attempting to use intimidation tactics on faculty and students who attended the meeting, hence the reason for our concern.

Officer Jacobs became a threat to our own ‘safe place’ that we’ve managed to maintain throughout the years by offering her unwanted and detrimental opinion on the case, deepening the anger and frustration that remained unexpressed from our members. Attempting to silence students when they speak on issues productively that impact their daily lives is unacceptable. The value of Black lives cannot be debated. We are prepared to reclaim our Black History Month Spirit Day event this upcoming Tuesday, March 3rd, 2020. I am encouraging students to wear their hoods throughout the duration of the school day to bring light to the fact that Black people (not just students) are targeted not only for what they wear and how they act, but also for the color of their skin. Acknowledging that the rules about hoods in classrooms are at the teachers’ discretion, as long as the hoods are not a direct distraction to the student or those around them, I will continue to support this violation.

After school on March 3rd, the Black Student Union will host “Targeted While Black: Hoods Up For Trayvon & Stephon” once more. All students and faculty are welcome because Room E-2 is a safe place for everyone. I will make sure the members keep in mind to value everyone’s opinions and to look at the documentary with an open mind.

The meeting was hijacked in a manner that portrayed the idea that comfort of those who have no ground to speak on issues that impact Black students in their daily lives is more important than the truth and how students are affected by it. This is not my intention as the President of the BSU. I value education to the fullest and am a firm believer that education, organization and application is key to the liberation we wish to achieve as a people in this society.