Heritage Celebration a Part of Broader Anti-Racism Efforts

The school administration plans to double down on cultural events in the coming months.

Heritage Celebration a Part of Broader Anti-Racism Efforts
Photo by Kaiden Chandler.

By Kaiden Chandler

Editor in Chief. Class of 2024

On October 18, MSMHS held its second annual Hispanic heritage event, with a portion of the day devoted to the celebration of Hispanic food, language, and culture.

This event is the first cultural celebration that MSMHS has held since January's Chinese Lunar New Year. Last year, a tentative date for a Black History Month celebration was announced via a PTO Digest newsletter. The event was ultimately never held, with no official reason coming from the PTO or the administration.

Discussing this, Ms. Amatrudo referenced an incident that occurred in February of last year that was described by administrators as “two related physical altercations.” Ms. Amatrudo explained the rationale behind the Black history event's cancellation, saying “The reason we didn't have it last year was because we had all this other garbage going on that we needed to heal from,” adding that the school needed to come together for inclusivity training “before we were ready to come together and have real conversations.”

During the training with the Ant-Defamation League, student panelists shared their experiences with racism, stereotypes, and bullying. Photo by Kaiden Chandler.

This training came about as part of the school’s partnership with the Anti-Defamation League, which led a whole-school training in anti-racism, anti-bullying, and inclusivity. October's Hispanic heritage celebration demonstrates the administration’s renewed confidence in student maturity and respectfulness during cultural events.

In the coming months, the administration plans to hold multiple cultural events, with Ms. Amatrudo referencing the possibility for both a Black history celebration and another Lunar New Year event. She also suggested the possibility of a “personal identity day,” where “everyone comes and gets to share a little piece of themselves.”

To ensure that these events stay on track for completion, the administration will rely more heavily on student leadership. Ms. Amatrudo noted that the reorganization of the student council will enable the school to “have somebody more focused on making sure that [a cultural event] happens.” 

Ms. Amatrudo sees “everything we're doing, the ADL work, what we're doing in advisory, cultural celebrations, the courses we're offering, the way we diversify the resources within the courses” as part of a larger plan to ensure that the school is able to continue holding these cultural events, without getting “distracted by negative thoughts and behaviors.”

The Current