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Antioch Diversity Video Sparks Conversation Amongst Students and Staff

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A recent video promoting diversity has brought forth a range of opinions from ACHS students and staff.

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Antioch Diversity Video Sparks Conversation Amongst Students and Staff

On Tuesday, March 12, Antioch Community High School’s subcommittee of the district equity committee released a video discussing diversity and equity in the school. In the video, Antioch students cold read testimonies, written by ACHS students, of discrimination and racism within the school. The school had a shortened schedule to give students a 35 minute window to watch and discuss the video. The Introduction to Print and Digital Journalism students compiled responses to this video.

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Some students and teachers believed the video to be a positive way to address some of the issues in the community.

“The video did a good job informing students and faculty of the things that maybe they weren’t aware [of] happening in our building,” social studies teacher Aleksandra Jarosz said.

“I think it’s really good that the school is finally trying to do something about it and it’s really an unfortunate that all this is happening to certain people, but I feel like that the school is doing something and it will end,” sophomore Isabella Demartini said. 

It’s kind of motivational,” sophomore Blake Wilson said. “It makes me realize what’s going on and that things need to change, and they need to make a change for the better of the school and our classmates.”

“I think it was really needed for everyone to hear, especially so that everyone’s voice can be heard,” senior Caelin McGuire said. “Especially if you’re of a different race or sexuality. I think that was really important for everyone to hear. I think it really hit everyone.”

I was kind of upset about it,” freshman Megan Harding said. “I think the thing that upset me most is the girl who’s talking about rape and how that staff member didn’t even care, and just kind of laughed it off. I think it is the staff’s responsibility to protect the students and make sure that everyone feels comfortable. And if that’s not happening, that’s an issue. So I think the video is a good way to kind of spread awareness as to how many people are actually being heard.”

Other members of the ACHS community felt that the video highlighted aspects of the school that they were previously unaware of.

I’m going to pay attention a lot more do what I can stop the people [and] tell people to stop [letting] these kind of things happen because I don’t want this happening in our school,” freshman Eric Salmi said. 

“I really felt like I didn’t know that this whole thing was going on in the school, so it kind of shocked me to hear everything that was going on,” freshman Jana Paulson said.

I kind of understand what people are going through now and I shouldn’t act certain ways, like I used to,” junior Elkanah Gahima said. “Now that I hear some stories of people actually being affected by some of these things, I’m probably going to change some of the things I say some of the things I do around the school.”

“It was like really touching like I didn’t feel like I personally don’t realize like all the stuff that’s going on in school,” sophomore Noah Welch said.

However, other ACHS students and staff felt that the video was a misguided attempt to address a much larger issue.

“I’m a little bit mixed. Mostly I found it pretty kind of disturbing,” teacher Helene Schulze said. “I mean, especially the one student who felt that the teacher laughed about them being friends with rape like, I know that there’s probably a little bit more to that story but just the fact that a kid got that impression that makes me really sad.”

“It really brought to my attention how much people are rude to each other and how [upset] people can get with those words and then immediately after that video,” sophomore Jada Shaputis said. “I heard someone talking bad about the people in it and so immediately I put a stop to it because I wasn’t going to put up with it.”

“I think it was a good idea but I don’t think it’s really going to change the outcome of how kids react in our school,” freshman Riley Keel said. “I feel like kids are still going to go on with their day and still talk about the stuff that they brought up during the video and still say those words to their friends and stuff because it’s modern day culture. I guess and all the music and stuff people listen to has it in it and they’re going to repeat it, so I think it was a good idea, but I don’t think it’s going to work.”

“The video is pointless because you really think that kids will listen to a video,” freshman Chloe Salecki said. 

The video was not available on YouTube after the viewing in school today.

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Antioch Diversity Video Sparks Conversation Amongst Students and Staff