The Student News Site of Henry M. Gunn High School

The Oracle

The Student News Site of Henry M. Gunn High School

The Oracle

The Student News Site of Henry M. Gunn High School

The Oracle

See Something, Say Something initiative aims to combat campus discrimination

See+Something%2C+Say+Something+initiative+aims+to+combat+campus+discrimination
Vin Bhat

In December 2023, the Gunn administration adopted the See Something, Say Something initiative, designed to streamline the process of reporting discrimination and harassment cases and reassure the community of Gunn’s stance against all forms of hate. Students can now report experiences or observations of discrimination and harassment through scanning the QR codes on See Something, Say Something posters around campus.

Administrators adopted this measure after noticing an upward trend in discriminatory behavior. According to PAUSD’s Uniform Complaint Procedures logs, there was a 21.6% increase in logged reports and complaints of discrimination at Gunn last year, from 37 reports in fall 2022 to 45 reports in fall 2023.

Assistant Principal of Student Equity Courtney Carlomagno, who helped create the initiative, noted that the new reporting method will allow administrators to respond to incidents more quickly and effectively, as well as gauge the true number of cases on campus.

“We (wanted to) take away the obstacle of having to come to the office and speak to an administrator right away,” she said. “Instead you can access this form at any time of day, and you could access it whether you were the one who was impacted by something that occurred or you just observed it.”

This approach also addresses students’ and community members’ dissatisfaction with the administration’s apparent lack of response to discriminatory behavior, according to Principal Dr. Wendy Stratton.

“The perception I think within our community is like, ‘Oh, nothing really happens,” she said. “You hear something, and there’s no visible evidence that we stand against that and that we don’t tolerate that. We need to do more on this to make it really clear that behavior along the lines of hate speech or something like that is really not acceptable here.”

Cases reported to the form through the QR code are submitted to PAUSD Title IX Coordinator and Compliance Officer Robert Andrade, who reviews the report and determines whether it should be further pursued as a district investigation or if the case should be handled at the site level.

The consequences for those who are reported to the form vary, depending on the context. They range from suspension to restorative meetings, in which offenders can learn how to repair relationships with those they have mistreated. As part of the initiative, corrective action focuses less on punishment and more on education and growth.

“The growth is so rich if you can turn around and have a conversation and really get something out of it,” Stratton said.

As of Feb. 6, the form has not yet been used to document any cases of harassment or discrimination. Still, Co-Diversity Commissioner junior Nia Porter anticipates that the form can improve student experiences at Gunn.

“I was pretty happy to see that they had something, because I’ve heard a lot of people sharing their experience and talking to me about how it wasn’t handled well by admin,” she said. “They don’t really know how to ask for help, but I think the form is going to help with that a lot.”

Stratton noted that the initiative emphasizes the importance of educating students at Gunn outside the realm of academics.

“A really important part of being an educated person is to recognize that you can have free speech, … but you need to be respectful of people around you, and that’s part of being a community member,” she said.

 

Report cases of hate and discrimination at tinyurl.com/GunnSeeSomethingSaySomething

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About the Contributors
Victor Dang, News Editor
Senior Victor Dang is a news editor for The Oracle and has been on staff since August 2022. When not doing schoolwork, he loves springboard diving, being bad at video games and looking at GIFs of cats online.
Vin Bhat, Graphic Artist, Photographer
Freshman Vin Bhat is a freelance graphic artist and photographer for The Oracle. He enjoys playing guitar, programming, and listening to music in his spare time.
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