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Letter from the Principal to the Monte Vista Community
Posted 12/19/19

December 18, 2019 


Dear Monte Vista Community,


It is with deep remorse and frustration that I write to inform you that we have continued to uncover racist incidents since we last communicated with you. Today, we discovered another racist incident perpetrated by a Monte Vista High School student against an African American male through social media. While we condemn all acts of racism on our campus, I am being intentionally specific with you about this most recent incident because when these incidents occur, they most frequently victimize African American students.


While we currently embrace programs like Breaking Down the Walls, Fresh Start, and Rising Black Scholars, we clearly need to do more to combat racism on campus. The need is clear for a fundamental shift in mentality for a portion of our population and I pledge to lead this campus in making that shift.


This problem cannot be solved today. It may not be solved tomorrow or even next week, but it will not be tolerated. I read a quote recently that had a huge impact on me and my thoughts about the biases that lead to these acts of racism:  “A school climate that encourages inclusion and promotes tolerance does not guarantee that bias incidents won’t happen. Instead, it creates an atmosphere in which these acts are less likely to gain momentum and more likely to be quickly and widely denounced.” While our goal remains to obliterate all acts of racism at Monte Vista, we will focus on creating a culture where our reaction to the incidents speaks louder than the incidents themselves.


We plan to support our African American students and their allies by partnering with experts, including our SRVUSD Equity Team and external organizations, to work with our students. We will talk about race and racism honestly and openly. Our desire is that every member of the Monte Vista community, from teachers to custodians to volunteers to administrators, will speak up when they hear a racial slur being used or a racist joke being told. We will be consistent and relentless in our efforts to remind every student on this campus that Monte Vista will be a school that does not allow hate or bias to flourish. We also want to make it clear that there are consequences to these actions and that the students who have been involved in racist incidents since our last communication have been severely disciplined. In addition, I encourage any student who feels affected by these events and needs further support to check in with their counselor or an administrator.  


Thank you for working with me to make African American students and all marginalized students on the Monte Vista campus feel safe and respected as part of a community that denounces racism in all forms.



Kevin Ahern

Monte Vista High School