RANCHO PENASQUITOS: Students: Racial incidents prompt discussion
By SHAYNA CHABNER - Staff Writer | Thursday, March 27, 2008 12:47 PM PDT
RANCHO PENASQUITOS ---- In the wake of three racially related incidents on Westview High School's campus this year, students say they are talking more openly about race, religion, cultural practices and opinions.
Student leaders conceded that the incidents cast a shadow over the 2,300-student campus, but they described the incidents as isolated acts that are not representative of the way many Westview students interact or feel about such issues.
On two occasions this school year, including once last week, a swastika was found painted on the window of Westview's student store. And on Halloween, a costume worn by a student created a stir because it was said to resemble a Ku Klux Klan outfit.
"I don't think that anyone at Westview could do those things," said senior Stephanie King, 18. "They are more just incidents that happened at Westview than things that represent Westview."
Still, King said, the incidents are not something that can be ignored.
As a member of the school's Human Relations Committee, King said she is trying to promote greater unity among students and more respect for the school's diverse student body. Statistics for the 2006-07 school year show that Westview is 55.3 percent white, 21 percent Asian, 9 percent Filipino, 8 percent Hispanic and 3 percent black.
The Human Relations Committee, which was founded last fall before the incidents, includes leaders of more than a dozen religious, ethnic and culturally focused groups on campus.
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