As many of you know i grew up in the far northern reaches of CA. A friend of a friend posted this on FB and needless to say i was not surprised. While the country in those parts is quite beautiful, the attitudes of the locals towards minorities is not. I was bullied in the several schools i attended, cuz white trash (read not lily white and poor) and my family were pretty much ostracized from in the towns we lived in. My elders tell different stories now, but I suspect they've forgotten the hard times in an effort to heal. This is also why i'll never move back northeastern CA (I may make an exception for the coastal areas,long story and vague cuz doxxing) because no matter what i do in the southern parts of this state, i'll never be accepted up there cuz of who I am and who my relatives are. (ETA: So far NONE of the local newspapers for the area are reporting on this. Not surprised...)
For those who don't want to click through at the moment, here are some highlights from the news story but please be sure to read the whole story later:
Pit River tribal member Sharon Elmore's daughter, Alexis Elmore, 12, received one of the notes. Elmore said the incident made her cry as she remembered suffering similar bullying when she was the same age, a sentiment echoed by many other parents who say racism in the schools has persisted for generations.
"When I heard about the notes, I was really scared. I dropped out in ninth grade because of how bad the racism was, and it's sad it has never really stopped," Elmore said. "They're just randomly attacking our Native kids, and the teachers are looking the other way."
Elmore believes the notes are related to white students reportedly creating a "Redneck Club" as a response to the Pit River students holding elections for their Native Youth Council. Many running for council had posted "Native Pride" stickers on their lockers, which were later defaced, Elmore said.
These allegations are being made in a region that is not far removed from the genocide suffered by Northern California tribes during the Gold Rush era when Indians were hunted by government funded militias, forced into slavery under California law and later sent to boarding schools to be converted to Christianity.
"The cowboys and Indians days have never ended (in Northern California)," Elmore said.
In the Humboldt complaints, parents alleged staff ignored their concerns of racist bullying until the Indian students reacted out of frustration, leading to detentions and suspensions while the bullies were relatively unpunished. This led to a cycle, the complaints allege, of Native students regularly being disproportionately suspended and being pushed into continuation schools, where college preparatory classes are unavailable.
Tyler had grown his hair long in honor of his father, and students would pull him down by the hair in gym class as well as call him a "long-haired freak" and homosexual slurs, Tyler and LaMirande said. When Tyler was suspended in October after fighting a student who ridiculed his hair, Guerrero told her that she should cut Tyler's hair to stop the bullying, LaMirande said.