SAB's Response to "Latin's Avenue for Diversity Discussions"

Student Academic Board Given the Student Academic Board’s role in the school, we found it appropriate—if not necessary—to comment on the controversy that Will Slater addresses in his editorial. The Student Academic Board (SAB) serves as a bridge between Latin’s faculty, administration, and students, and is routinely used as a sounding board when the school considers curriculum changes. Recently, our work has included discussions of the merits of no-homework weekends, the pros and cons of a different assessment process at the end of the first semester, and the role of senior projects. Most importantly, SAB, a subset of Student Government, serves as a legitimate voice of Latin’s student body to communicate directly with those who actually make the rules and run our school through formal, constructive discussions that have the power to make a difference.   In response to the email sent anonymously to many members of the Latin community, SAB has already held three meetings to discuss the email itself and whether or not a diversity unit has a place in a physics class. Students from all grades attended these meetings, and the resulting discussion reflected the opinions of the entire high school. From our perspective, Will Slater’s editorial accurately reflects the range of student responses that came out of these meetings. Though there are differences of opinion about where learning about diversity and inclusion fits in our curriculum, the majority of students believe that discussing diversity is important to their education, and making time for those discussions is essential. While SAB does not recognize the legitimacy of an anonymous email, we do realize that Latin has been presented with a question about the future of our curriculum and where the topic of diversity will fit into it. Alongside other constituencies— the board, parents, administration, and especially the faculty—who will undoubtedly be part of the conversation in shaping a solution to this issue, it is our belief that student voices should be heard. Moving forward, SAB plans to be an outlet and communication medium to make that possible. As a group, we plan to have further discussions with other committees representative of the student body, especially the Diversity and Equity Committee. We plan to have future meetings that, as always, will be open for all interested students to attend.    With only a couple of weeks remaining in the school year, SAB realizes that this is not something that will be quickly and easily resolved. This is not a light issue; there are a lot of angles and strong opinions from people on every side. We hope that the community considers the Student Academic Board as an inviting and productive body, one that offers the opportunity to students to amplify their voices and have a positive impact on the very important issue of diversity at Latin.]]>