By LILY TINOCO | Reporter
An anonymous user took to Instagram on Wednesday, July 8, to create a grid-piece of anonymous submissions from Palisades Charter High School students, which has amassed dozens of submissions and hundreds of followers.
The account, which has the handle DearPCHS, is part of a movement across the country, with spaces being created on social media for students to voice their experiences in different schools and districts.
Account moderators described it as an anonymous platform for students at Pali High to share their experiences.
“This is a completely safe space, and your identity will be anonymous,” according to the submission page. “By sharing your story, you’re providing a time for growth, healing, acceptance, and a place to be heard and listened to.”
The submission page also states that every story posted will remain anonymous and all names included will be removed.
Rising senior Dayzee Betton said the page has been an outlet for students to feel less alone, that social media is not only a space for teenagers to share their daily lives and adventures, but to vent and find others who have gone or are going through similar situations.
“As they speak of their own experiences in which they have been failed,” Betton said, “they see that it wasn’t their fault, and that it has happened many times before and many times after.”
Recent Pali High graduate and former president of the school’s Black Student Union Kalkidan Alemayehu shared her thoughts on the account and its relation to the school.
“I think it’s really telling about how … severed the trust is between students and administration,” Alemayehu said to the Palisadian-Post. “Where they feel the school isn’t going to do anything, so they take it upon themselves to expose … on social media.”
Another Pali High student, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, added that this account has helped expose a toxic school culture. All three students pointed out that this isn’t solely an issue at Pali High—but shared hope that the school should work proactively toward significant changes they feel need to be made.
“Reading through every one of these stories is a heartbreaking experience that shows the prejudices that students on campus experience on a day to day basis,” a Pali High senior said. “We need to change the narrative to help students, teachers and school faculty realize that rather than being agents of a broken system, we can reevaluate the current flawed methods of tackling problems to instead create a better culture that truly benefits and uplifts students, as is the intended purpose of school in the first place.”
Principal Pamela Magee said the school is aware of the account, but cannot comment on any personnel or student discipline matters based on individual privacy rights.
“We have reached out to students involved in creating the account to facilitate obtaining more information, and will be addressing the issues and concerns related to students and staff within the bounds of our authority, and to the extent we can, given the anonymity of the reports,” Magee said to the Post.
On Monday, June 29, the school sent an email sharing “anti-racism resources for teachers and for parents and families.” The school said it is taking steps to address racism, including listening groups, reviewing and revising school policies with clear consequences, and implementing anti-bias and anti-racism training for staff and students.
“Our vision is to become a cohesive and constructive community for students to learn who they want to be. As staff members, we are fully committed to our mission statement … we will not tolerate and we will stand against any form of hate or discrimination based on race, ethnicity, religion, gender, abilities, sexual orientation, citizenship or socioeconomic status,” according to the email.
“Our goal is for all students to know that they are safe, valued and respected.”
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