●Official Statement from the pupils of Kingswood College ●
When we examine what our school is currently experiencing in regard to racial issues, it is easy to say that we are simply going through a difficult period, however, this has been with us for some time.
The outcry from the pupils on social media was not something to be stifled, but deserved to be embraced. We have made management aware of this and they have understood. This case triggered something that was possibly being unconsciously suppressed. This was our time to express ourselves and allow room for cathartic healing. Our voices have finally been heard.
As the current student body of 2019, we would love to extend a hand to the Kingswoodians that came before us. We acknowledge the fact that we do not only speak for ourselves, but for you too. We hope sharing your stories allowed for cathartic healing as well. Your burden is ours, our burden is yours.
All who contributed in perpetuating a toxic culture within the school should be held accountable, previous management is no exception. Kingswood is currently experiencing the term of our most hopeful management and although it is not perfect, we are working closely together to ensure a way forward. There are certainly some members of management, staff and pupils that need to be more thoroughly educated on the topic of discrimination. Workshops are going to take place in this regard and stimulating, thought-provoking conversations occurring around campus as a result of our current circumstances have already enlightened some.
Generations of Kingswoodians to come should not have to fight this same battle, but instead revel in the splendour of what the school is to become. We cannot treat this as black versus white or pupils versus management. This is Kingswood versus racism and any other discrimination.
There is already the prospect of change on campus. Upon our request, counselling conducted by black psychologists has taken place, racial awareness workshops for both the staff and pupils are underway, the chance for student leadership to sit in on a meeting regarding the code of conduct next year is a strong possibility and pupils and staff that have said or done things of a discriminatory nature are being reported immediately. More change is to come and Kingswood’s future is bright.
Generally, the most meaningful change is the general awareness that is beginning to grow in the pupils on campus. That is what is keeping us hopeful, the voice we have found. Sometimes structures need to be deconstructed all the way down to their foundations so they can be rebuilt with more stability. We deconstructed what was hurting us, and even at this moment, we are better than we were two weeks ago.
Now we call on other schools, to also do introspection. There is no better time than right now to stand against an injustice. Discover the power in your voices and do not ever let them be diminished.