Beaconsfield High School Stands Against Racism
by Helena Tritouras
In early December, a Beaconsfield High School student was the victim of an act of racism when a player on the opposing hockey team used a racial slur against him in their inter-city game. Beaconsfield High School mobilized immediately following the event to support their fellow peer, and to condemn racism by starting their campaign ‘Bisons Say No To Racism’ and ‘BHS Takes A Knee’.
“Beaconsfield High School absolutely condemns this act of aggression and racism, and we are encouraging our community to do so as well.” Explained BHS principal Rachel Wilson, “As a school, and as members of the Bison community, we must be anti-racist. It is not enough to ‘agree’ that this was a racist act, we must show that we will not accept this behaviour.”
Since the incident, BHS’ sports teams known as the Bisons begin each game, meet, tournament, and competition by taking a knee in solidarity with the student and denounce racism. “For us at BHS, this will serve as a visual act of unity that demonstrates support, not defiance. We want to ensure that this behaviour should never be accepted and that the player, coaches, team, and league be accountable for their actions, and education must take place” added Wilson.
To spread awareness for their campaign, and to exemplify their support to the student, both students and staff assembled to create posters during their lunch hour. The posters were spread across the school as reminder to all students that they have the power to stand up against racism. The posters read messages such as “We do not stand for racism at BHS”, “Racism does not belong in sports” and “Bisons hate inequality.”
Beaconsfield High School is committed to continue battling racism in all forms. Their dedication to Equity, Diversity, Dignity, and Inclusion (EDDI) has no boundaries. Later this month, Overture with The Arts will be presenting “Unpacking the N Word” to all Grade 7 students, the same presentation that the rest of BHS received last school year.
The actions of the students and staff at Beaconsfield High School act as a reminder that we all have the capability and responsibility to stand against racism and discrimination and must work towards anti-racism.