A Contra Costa County School District is now hoping to turn a racist incident into a teachable moment at Diablo View Middle School in Clayton.
In fact, Mt. Diablo Unified School District’s superintendent believes the incident could spark some difficult, but necessary, conversations about race.
“Honestly, it’s disgusting to me. Children learn from what they see and I’m a firm believer of that,” said Clayton resident Vina Ferrat.
Ferrat is the mother of a student at Diablo View Middle School. She told NBC Bay Area Friday that she is still trying to process an incident that took place at the school last week.
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The Mount Diablo Unified School District said on Thursday that a student was disciplined for passing out cotton balls at the school, as a way of mocking Black History Month.
This event was so wide open and egregious to create an opportunity to create a safe space for students to talk about the harm that this caused,” said Dr. Adam Clark, Superintendent at Mt. Diablo Unified School District.
Clark told NBC Bay Area that after the incident was brought to his attention Thursday, his office immediately notified parents about it via email.
On Friday, the district took it a step further by bringing counselors from its equity department to the campus, to discuss the incident directly with students in class.
Clark feels just disciplining students just doesn’t address the bigger problem.
“I want to make sure the adults who are in charge. Address this issue, turn them into teachable moments, not here to punish, not the penal system,” he said.
Clark added this is just one step towards creating a more inclusive environment within the district. He said that diversity discussions need to be ongoing, in order to create lasting change.
For Ferrat, she appreciates the district’s efforts in making sure all kids feel welcome, including her own.
“It shows that they care, make an effort in making this right,” she said.