High school social justice report suggests half of all Vermont kids struggling with racism

Wikimedia Commons/Mike Shaheen

DIDNT’ WORK: The defund the police movement is largely seen today as a massive policy failure across the nation. Now Vermont students say there still needs to be more attention given to racism in Vermont policing, housing and more.

The 2022 Racial Equity Report put together by the Vermont Student Anti-Racism Network was presented to the public during a Zoom presentation last Monday.

The report calls for reforming housing policies to address discrimination, including policies that use race to prioritize both housing and medical resources.

The report begins with a statement by Ta-Nehisi Coates from his book “Between the World and Me,” in which the author appears to equate racism with physical violence:

All our phrasing — race relations, racial chasm, racial justice, racial profiling, white privilege, even white supremacy — serve to obscure that racism is a visceral experience, that it dislodges brains, blocks airways, rips muscle, extracts organs, cracks bones, breaks teeth. You must never look away from this. You must always remember that the sociology, the history, the economics, the graphs, the charts, the regressions all land, with great violence, upon the body.

Section 8 of the report includes survey results on social issues from Mount Anthony Union High School. This included questions such as “Have you ever experienced microaggressions with teachers?” The result was 42% of the respondents said yes. Another question was “Do you feel like it’s hard to live in Vermont because of its lack of diversity?” Half of respondents said yes.

Rep. Michelle Bos-Lun, D-Westminster, was in attendance during the Zoom meeting. She emphasized that housing is a key area in which people of color feel disadvantaged.

“Housing is an opportunity that can really provide movement forward in this society in a whole variety of different ways,” Bos-Lun said. “And if that’s not available to people of color, that’s putting them at a really unfair disadvantage.”

She gave multiple examples of leadership in Vermont using race as a determiner for the distribution of available housing. “There are some targeted funds that are going to correct that particular issue and I’m really glad and proud of that work,” she said.

Bos-Lun suggested that the spread of COVID also illustrates evidence of social inequality — and so the vaccines needed to be distributed to minorities first.

“We did have higher rates of COVID in our BIPOC populations than in white populations, and one of the things that happened on the state-wide level is that there were clinics set up so that BIPOC Vermonters could have access to immunizations sooner.”

High school student Emily Maikoo spoke at the presentation about her role in the report, which was more than a year in the making.

“Vermont still faces the same problems as everywhere else and in some cases it’s even worse,” she said. “As we’ve seen in the past, history always finds a way of repeating itself.”

Maikoo said that she’s discouraged from seeing incidents with police and minorities on TV and added that she hears racial slurs in her classrooms.

“And if I get pulled over, I have to worry about my life while others may just be getting a ticket,” she said.

Addie Lentzner, a freshman at Middlebury College, also worked on this report. She said police bias often begins once a stop is made.

“When they see that it’s a person of color, they may be more likely to do one of those things [search the car, make an arrest, etc.],” Lentzner said. “And this is just a bias that all of us have and we’re all human, we all have that bias, and police officers aren’t immune to that bias.”

The Vermont Racial Equity Report can be read online here.

Michael Bielawski is a reporter for True North. Send him news tips at bielawski82@yahoo.com and follow him on Twitter @TrueNorthMikeB.

Images courtesy of Vermont Racial Equity Report and Wikimedia Commons/Mike Shaheen

24 thoughts on “High school social justice report suggests half of all Vermont kids struggling with racism

  1. Pretty sad. Our kids are not only being taught that men give birth and you can change your sex at will but that VT is a hotbed of racism. To a hammer, everything looks like a nail. To those who are getting paid well to “find” racism, they will surely find it as their continued employment depends on them doing so.

  2. As you all read the article and comments below, remember it was Phil Scott who hired Davis at over
    $100,000.00 per year to stir up the racial divide now being pushed in Vermont. The crime rate is up because the police are labeled as racist, who would want to be a cop in Vermont. The governor
    mandated that state employee be subjected to Equity and Inclusion indoctrination and the schools
    have done the same and yet Vermont’s BIPOC (a word invented for people of color) has 1.2% of
    colored people. The state of has created this racist nonsense and the dem/progs have used it as a
    rallying cries for all things progressive. While the voters have been sucked into the lie, this is where
    we find ourselves today. Another mess that didn’t need to happen and was invented to convince the
    useful idiots of the feel good, virtue signaling crowd of leftists. TAKE BACK VERMONT!

  3. As our pastor said last Sunday, “There isn’t a Black person in this congregation who is a victim and there isn’t a White person in this congregation who has privilege. We are all equal in the sight of God.” The problem with the race-baiters and BLM and all the other radical leftists is that they never talk about God and His answers to this particular sin problem (racism is just another one of many human sins). They need to read more Bible and less Marx.

  4. Delighted to see healthy responses to this.

    It is not hard to understand why so many Vermonter youths are struggling with racism in our schools.

    Prior to the emergence of the Black Lives Matter voices in Vermont, Vermont was quiet and amiable in racial matters.  Having worked in several schools and knowing several black students that fit comfortably with their peers, I am appalled at what has transpired. We were the first state to abolish slavery and with minor exceptions, the race card has not been a big issue in Vermont at least in the many classrooms I’ve worked in.

    In 247wallst.com, a setting that has long chronicled racial statistics Vermont ranks.  Yes, we’ve only had1.2% blacks in our midst, and those folks were given plenty of educational opportunities.  In fact the blacks in Vermont have a slightly higher educational attainment rate than the whites.  The median income for both groups were in the $50K range. 

    Since BLM surfaced and toted their Defund the Police agenda, we’ve seen many side effects.  One is a decrease in police presence, a rise in violent crimes and homocides.  The schools have been forced by State Standards to include Critical Race Theory/Equity Education that has conflicting views to what Vermont children have known and experienced. 
    No one likes to have to pull out a new manual to wade through what has been familiar territory. Most adults have their comfort zones and coping strategies in place.  It’s the children that are sturggling with new concepts like white supremacy and minority oppressions.    Mix in gender identity issues when for centuries the whole globe has been born either male or female.  Few students dealt with gender pronouns before 8 years ago, now they all have a measure of pressure.  It’s all new – it’s a maze.  Is it a wonder why youth are struggling with racism added to the mix teens have always struggled to get through to find their place?  

    Xusanna Davis, the imported Vermont State Equity Director is Vermont’s outspoken New York proponent of these struggles, because in the books that she identifies with, struggling is healthy and a means to a greater good in creating upheaval in society. She’s not alone, many Ivy League and Elite schools have become immersed in these teachings. There was a time Harvard and Yale meant the best educated, but now they should be viewed as the most dangerously educated with heavy doses of Marxist training.

    Vermonters, you’ve always been known as level headed folks. Do your animals have any issues knowing if they are male or female? Do you care if the cow that provides you milk is black or white or a mix?   Are you content travelling down the road with the increase in violence, the struggles all the gender and racial changes are imposing on our youth, large expenditures to level racial divides that didn’t ever exist in Vermont?  It’s time to speak up and take Vermont back from those who are still eager to wave the BLM flags over our schools and influence the actions of our legislators.  Take Back Vermont.  Stand up for Freedom and Unity.

    • Delighted to see your healthy response in this matter, especially from your perspective as having worked in schools. Well said and I look forward to more of your commentaries.

  5. After teaching middle school and high school for 28 years in Vermont and listening to inspiring first introductory speeches by principals and other administrators, I have never, never heard a warning about bullying given to students. My youngest son was about to be beaten by a student twice his size when his older brother showed up…………………karma.

  6. See it for what it is: A typical leftist strategy of creating a crisis where one doesn’t actually exist so that it can be exploited for political purposes.

  7. A report showing what is being taught to children and our tax dollars being used to create generations of marxist/communist activists to destroy our nation. Lies and deception being perpetrated upon children! No child of any age should be subjected to daily psychological abuse of any kind. Yet, they are sent to school and taught to hate themselves, hate their communities, and hate their country. They are taught to live in fear and to be miserable malcontents. Pure evil is running our education system. WAKE UP!

    • well said…no survey like this has any value in a world where victimhood is promoted by our public school system and valued and displayed by the majority of malleable snowflake students. Manufactured racism is as bad as real racism.

  8. Does this Rep. Bos-Lun not realize that Vermont has been offering special BIPOC COVID vaccination clinics throughout the pandemic and is continuing this race-preferential (racist) practice to this day? Any data indicating a lower vaccination participation rate of some specific demographic groups is due to their personal choices. Resulting higher rates of COVID infections could be due to lack of vaccination status or more likely due to real physiologic differences in races, just like with sickle cell anemia…some groups of people are more prone to certain diseases, that’s a medical fact and has NOTHING to do with bias. The high school student quoted “if I get pulled over, I have to worry about my life”…no, she CHOOSES to worry. There is no basis to that paranoia in Vermont…she apparently watches too much CNN or MSNBC. Your risk of being harmed during an encounter with police has everything to do with YOUR CHOICE of how you interact with them. If anything, Vermont law enforcement are more likely these days to ignore an infraction if they observe it being committed by a Person of Color as they dont want the extra scrutiny.
    This “equity report” was loaded with leading questions and it’s predetermined outcome is simply virtue signaling and white guilt being manufactured for political purposes.

  9. Interesting that the report as published is a treatise of the rhetoric that has been pushed for the last few years. The report’s list of demands that would ‘correct’ the alleged racism is nothing more than ignoring the rule of law- but only for ‘minorities’. Now, MAU students, that would be the racist solution to your perceived ‘racism’
    “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.”

  10. Creating problems where none existed. That is what these Marxist Democrats are all about. Racism and Sex. Racism and Sex. Everything is seen through the lenses of racism and sex. They create it, stir it up, twist the truth….just what is in the Communist playbook on how to destroy a society.

  11. My great granddaughter has told my wife that she gets bullied frequently but nothing is done about it. If only she was a minority so there would be an interest in her situation.

  12. Here we go again, another ” non-issue ” among kids, kids are kids who pick on
    each other, and if the ” snowflakes ” are offended ………. Oh well.

    The world is a tough place, get thick-skinned or stay in your parent’s basement
    and be cuddled………………………………

  13. Whine, Whine. Whine. Kids get ‘discriminated’ against ALL THE TIME. That is what kids do!! You don’t have to be black, brown, slanted eyes, yellow….makes no difference! If there is something ‘different’ about you then expect a little discrimination. Red hair and freckles is always discriminated against. You survive.

  14. I suggest that the ‘social justice report’ as compiled by the ‘Vermont Student Anti-Racism Network’ is basically a made-up, fantasy compilation of self-serving BS. What a crock…

  15. Thank you — a light in the darkness. It’s so encouraging that this issue is getting the attention it’s been denied for so long. Perhaps we can look forward to our community also waking up to the continuing scourge of acne among our youth and the uncheck spread of invasive wild parsnip along our highways.

    • The invasive wild parsnip treatment depends on where you are in Vermont. The further from Montpeculier you are the worse it gets. I-89 near the capital looks like a well groomed golf course. Route 7 north out of Bennington looks like the wild parsnip is being cultivated for sale. Typical.

    • The problem is, you get rid of one thing, and something else comes along. I don’t see any discussion of the wild chervil menace here…how did that one go under the radar?

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