Statement from SI regarding incident at Sigmund Stern Grove
Posted 01/28/2016 01:09PM

Dear SI Community,

This is to inform you that some SI students attended a citywide gathering at Sigmund Stern Grove organized by non SI-students that involved students from several schools. This gathering took place on Saturday, January 23, and had an inappropriate theme with racial overtones and racist implications, as students wore clothing that appropriated pervasive negative stereotypes of Black culture.

Regardless of the intent of those who participated, their actions had an adverse effect on the community and on them. We categorically condemn this gathering as it does not represent the Ignatian values or ideals that our school stands for, and thus we are called to respond.

This gathering was brought to the attention of our deans by several student groups Tuesday morning when they showed administrators photos posted by the participants themselves on social media.

Our inquiries led to 14 student suspensions, and we are in the process of forming an action plan to address this issue with our entire student body. On Wednesday, January 27, we assembled the entire faculty and staff to inform them of what transpired, and we plan to address this issue with the entire student body. In addition, we have supplied resources to our faculty to give them broader context as they discuss this with students in and outside the classroom. Faculty are encouraging dialogue and using this as a teachable moment. We are also relying on a restorative justice model by bringing the suspended students together with members of our Black Student Union to engage in understanding, education and healing. In addition, we have met with the adult moderators of the ethnic affinity groups (BSU, ALAS and ASC) to provide a space for their voices to be a part of the collaborative and restorative process.

Over the years, we have done much work in the area of diversity through the school's Office of Equity and Inclusion, which is an integral part of our school community. Clearly, however, we have more work ahead of us in forming adolescents to be their best selves. Values of diversity, equity and inclusion are core school values. We also acknowledge that this is part of a larger national conversation, and we now have the opportunity to address this issue courageously and directly.

In the end, we want our Ignatian ideals to carry the day. SI stands for community, respect and the value of every student. We are moving in ways to make sure that all students feel safe. We are heartened that so many students brought this to our attention, as they know they have trusted adults here in whom they can confide and seek answers to hard questions as we all work together to create a more just world.

St. Ignatius College Preparatory

Courage to Lead; Passion to Serve

2001 37th Avenue San Francisco, CA 94116
(415) 731-7500
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