Students came to school on a Sunday following the incident to draw positive messages in the quad. photo by Kate Jones

The media’s response was not warranted

After the swastika incident occurred at STA, news media reported a lot of false information about our school. This influenced public opinions of STA's character as a whole, which the Dart would like to set straight.

October 16, 2017

Up until about a month ago, St. Teresa’s girls would have never second guessed wearing their uniform or STA apparel in public. Outside of sports, they go about their business, proud to wear “STA” on their shirts and tartan plaid on their skirts. Recently, however, that has become a little challenging. Unfortunately, us students have experienced encounters that have made us feel extremely uncomfortable and scared. A sophomore was walking her dog one afternoon, with STA apparel on, when a man yelled while running past her.

“Stop being racist you privileged bitch,” the man said. The reasoning behind these specific confrontations is because people outside of the direct STA community have spoken about a situation that occurred with STA students. The problem with this is that news outlets have been reporting on rumors and false information about our school which has influenced outside opinions about the character of STA as a whole. The fact that these opinions are based on false information explains why they aren’t justified.

Many judgemental statements have degraded the moral qualities of not only the students, but the administration as well. Critics are upset with the administration because they feel as if their punishment for the students was dismissive and not harsh enough. While everyone has the freedom to voice their opinions, they’re not appropriate because these harsh remarks have been based solely on false information. It’d be a completely different situation if it came from the people involved in the incident the news is reporting about, but they weren’t. The news outlets have made it seem like going to school at STA is like walking to your death everyday.

The media has a responsibility to inform the general population in a fair and truthful manner. Unfortunately, this was not the case. Instead, they have been biased and inaccurate, with sources of only distant ties to our school, who also don’t know all the information they’re being interviewed about. In one instance, they have also been lazy enough to report that our school is in Kentucky. They’ve blown certain facts out of proportion. For instance one article insinuated that a new club which provides a safe, comfortable space for African Americans to talk was a  ‘segregated lunch’. They’ve dismissed the congenial, caring personalities of the students that makeup STA by purposely stereotyping us as the ‘rich, catholic and privileged all-girls school’.

Alumnae particularly have been the most upset and have been the most outspoken about the situation. This anger is understandable. They respect and love this school as much as the current students do. Shamefully, the media used that pride to their advantage to attract negative attention. They’ve made alumnae question the integrity of all of the students and the school that they once attended.

Only the students of STA know how we’ve felt when we walked into school everyday and it’s not the absolute worst. Yes, everyone’s experience is different, but it’s not right to generalize the entire student body’s experience. We’ve made the decision to move forward because we know that we are stronger than before.

Most students who attend or have attended STA can agree that the school’s motto from St. Teresa of Avila still rings true: “In this house, all must be friends, all must be loved, all must be held dear, all must be helped.” Because at St. Teresa’s Academy, this house is united.

 

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