Advisory lesson prompts discussion on race


The curriculum for advisory Nov. 10.

Sasha Saias and Rosa Stern Pait


A schoolwide advisory lesson on Tuesday Nov. 10 prompted students to address racial tensions at the high school and offer their opinions. In the past month there have been some racially charged incidents, all of which contributed to a growing sense of inadequate racial awareness for some, according to Headmaster Deborah Holman’s PA announcement during advisory.

Advisors were given a set of directions to guide a class activity and a discussion during T-block. The activity asked students to respond to a series of statements such as “I have been unfairly judged based on my gender” and “I have been to the house of a friend of a different race than me.” Students moved across the room depending on their answers and then had a discussion about how they felt during the activity, and about race issues at the high school and in general.

Holman explained the thought behind the lesson in her announcement.

“We need more student feedback and discussion on these important topics,” Holman said, “It is my priority that all students feel that they are a part of this school community, that they are supported and that they are safe to walk in the world of this high school. Even given this priority, please know that some of our students do not always feel safe and supported at Brookline High.”

Holman said that she feels it is important for students and staff to engage in meaningful dialogue together.

“We are our best as a school when we, faculty and students, are speaking with each other face to face and in real time,” Holman said. “This morning we have a chance to listen to each other, talk to each other, broaden our perspectives, and walk for a bit in someone else’s shoes.”