Student organization, LISD S.E.E. to meet with administration


photo via LISD S.E.E. instagram

LISD Students for Educational Equity (S.E.E.), plans to continue meeting with school administration next week in order to talk about changes related to the recent sexual assault allegations.
LISD S.E.E. is an organization started by students in July that hopes to bring change to LISD schools in order to create a more inclusive environment for the students of LISD. Following an Instagram post on Oct. 23 from a former student who alleged school staff mishandled a sexual assault claim in 2019, LISD S.E.E. leaders asked to meet with administrators to discuss the matter.
“As leaders of LISD S.E.E., we try to bring awareness to the fact that a lot of people are angry and confused,” founder of LISD S.E.E., junior, Nandita Kumar said. “We felt there was something not being done correctly, so we decided to email [the district and administration]. We wrote in those emails about how we feel like things have been handled the wrong way and how we felt like we weren’t being included in a conversation.”
On Oct. 24, LISD S.E.E. posted a statement on Instagram regarding sexual assault. In the post, the group called out teachers and administration. The generalizing use of the word ‘teachers’ upset some staff members who felt they were doing the right thing regarding assault allegations. Therefore, LISD S.E.E. released a letter of intent claiming “The generalizing language we used made it seem like the whole school and district were involved in covering up certain things and putting student safety at risk. In reality, this was not the case.”
“I think that some of the wording was detrimental toward the trust between teachers and students because they used the word ‘teachers’ plural, and not just the teachers in question,” art teacher and student council sponsor Jennifer Russell said. “I think we need to rebuild the trust in some, but I am glad [LISD S.E.E. is] here, because they will be an integral part in building that trust, so we can move forward together as a team.”
Four days after the former student’s Instagram post, student leaders from LISD S.E.E. and student council met with district administrators to talk about changes they wish to see regarding sexual harassment, consent education and sexual education. At this meeting, student leaders also discussed the Title IX law, which protects students from discrimination based on their gender identity or sexual orientation.
“We went more in depth with the cases [at the meeting with the district],” senior Jeremiah Joseph said. “We talked about how the students were feeling and more about how we can make a better change within the district. The main point of that meeting was to figure out a way to work together with the administration and LISD so that we can be more proactive to deal with the things that have happened better.”
Another way LISD S.E.E. hopes to see change is by promoting the Hawk Tip Line which is an anonymous correspondence used to share information with administration.
“We are talking about having [LISD S.E.E.] be partners with us in pushing the tip line, because it is anonymous and it goes directly to an administrator,” Russell said. “A lot of people think [the tip line] is a joke, or that it is snitching, but that perception needs to change among the students, so we need to just have better conversations.”
Overall, Kumar said LISD S.E.E. hopes to continue advocating for LISD students regarding topics from racial inequalities to sexual harassment.
“I hope that we can continue to work with [the district and administration] and see decisive action being taken, because right now, we have been in the talking phases, but we need action,” Kumar said. “If you ever feel like you aren’t safe, or you don’t have a safe educational environment, just know that you don’t have to deal with that alone and you can always come to anyone in our group, or go to [principal Amy] Boughton, because she has been a really big ally to us.”