WHS Community Walks to Erase Hate

Delaney Vallee '24 and Maggie Hanlon '24, Contributing Writers

On Monday, January 10, 2022, at approximately 2:15 p.m., the Westborough High School faculty, staff, and students participated in a school-wide Unity Walk. The goals of the walk were to celebrate diversity at the school and stand up against racism. Recently, there have been several incidents of racist graffiti in the school’s bathrooms and stairwell.

Despite the cold temperatures, students and staff walked around the outside of the school to show their solidarity as a community. Many held signs that expressed their support for all students as well as the need to erase racism in the community.

One of the teachers who planned the event was E.L.L. teacher Mrs. Conerly.

She stated, “This event is so important because it brings not only everyone together, but it brings all cultures together. It’s a celebration of diversity and it’s so important because here at Westborough we are very diverse.”

At the end of the walk, the community gathered in front of the school for an “Erase Hate” chant and for a reading of Amanda Gorman’s poem “The Hill We Climb.” This is the poem that Gorman wrote and recited at President Biden’s Inauguration. WHS faculty and staff took turns reading in different languages including: Portuguese, Spanish, Mandarin, Russian, Arabic, and English.

Senior Autumn Lieber who read part of the poem said, “Reading a part of the poem was a great experience for me…I felt like this poem really hit home for many people and hearing others read, like me, added more meaning and emotions to it. I also felt like the walk was a good way for more people to connect and really get together, showing respect for one another…”

In this school year, there has been an increase of racist acts also committed in surrounding schools.

“I think it’s really important for us to stand up together as a school to fight against racism and other issues,” sophomore Nithika Krishna shared.

There will be an open meeting and discussion among faculty and staff on the afternoon of January 12 to continue this work on diversity and anti-racism.

WHS principal Mr. Callaghan added, “It (the unity walk) not only makes our school better, it makes each one of us, I believe, better.”