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Redwood Bark

School board confronts racial insensitivity: addressing the impact of a viral video in the student community

This story is a part of an ongoing report. See this page for more on TUHSD’s action.


On Nov. 14, the Tamalpais Union High School District (TUHSD) Board of Trustees hosted a meeting addressing various racial concerns that have been brought to surface in recent weeks. These racial concerns are best understood in the context of a recording depicting Tamalpais High School (Tam) students repeatedly saying the N-word. This student was accompanied by various student members of TUHSD, laughing and finding humor in the situation. The video spread quickly amongst students and staff, prompting a school walkout organized by the presidents of the Black Student Union at Tam.

On Nov. 7 an email was sent to students and parents from superintendent Tara Taupier.

An email sent from superintendent Tara Taupier to students and parents on Nov. 7 initially responded to the incident.

During the Board meeting, mother and advisor of the Tam Black Student Union Angela Carter took to the stand to express her frustration in a public comment.

“I want to re-emphasize, while we appreciate some of the work that’s been done, my son, James, is two years old and will be here in 12 years, and I don’t want to have this conversation with him. He is black. My black husband was a Tam student and faced racism back in 2007, I don’t want him to experience the same thing. As was said in the last meeting with our community, enough is enough. I don’t want to apologize that this keeps happening decade after decade,” Carter said. 

Additionally, Gregory Wilker, a volunteer for the TUHSD Racial Justice Task Force made an appearance at the meeting and expressed his opinion. During a private interview, Wilker highlighted the importance of education and acknowledged an evident issue constantly surrounding incidents concerning race. 

Gregory Wilker takes notes while speakers present their perspectives to the board.

“One of my friends, who’s a mother and a woman of color, said part of her challenge is that white people in Marin County don’t even know there’s an issue,” Wilker said. 

Cathy Flores, San Andreas High School Principal and TUHSD Sr. Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging, spoke on the district’s new plan called the “Stop and Learn” which has been implemented at Tam and will be completed across the district by the end of the semester at all schools.

“The Stop and Learn that is occurring right now is going to be addressing racist and dehumanizing language and specifically targeting the N-word, the history of it and why it is so damaging,” Flores said. “We want all of our students to see the humanity in everyone and the value of all of our people and peers.”

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Emily Garcia, Spanish Editor
Emily Garcia is a junior at Redwood Highschool and is the Spanish editor for the Redwood Bark. She enjoys listening to music and spending time with friends and family.
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Alana Leifer is a junior and a Spanish Editor for the Redwood Bark. She enjoys running, spending time with her friends, and traveling.
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Nadia Massoumi is a junior at Redwood High School and is a Copy Editor for the Bark. She enjoys listening to music, traveling with her family and friends, and baking red velvet cakes.
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Aanika Sawhney is Lifestyles Editor for the Bark and a senior at Redwood High School. She is part of the drama program and is an executive producer for Redwood TV.