Administration’s silence speaks volumes

Editorial+Cartoon%2C+Issue+2

Stephanie Liang

Editorial Cartoon, Issue 2

Not many students are aware of the events that transpired at Bonita Vista High (BVH) on the night of Halloween, Oct. 31. BVH was vandalized and tagged with anti-Semitic and homophobic messages; whether it was a teenage joke or a threat to our diverse school community, the administration still does not know. It is currently being investigated as a hate crime by the Chula Vista Police Department (CVPD) and officials are asking students if they know anything to contact their tip line at (888)580-8477.

There have been two responses to this declaration of hate at BVH; the first one by Chula Vista city councilmen and the second one by BVH students. However, amidst the press conference held by Chula Vista Councilman Stephen Padilla and the ‘Spread Love Not Hate’ workshop held a week later, BVH administration has kept quiet about the incident. 

“As a principal, I’m sometimes cautious about my response to things. I don’t want the unintended consequence to be that the public thinks that that represents who we are or the type of students we have, because I know it isn’t,” BVH Principal Roman Del Rosario Ed.D said. 

While it is understandable to not want to stereotype BVH students into delinquents, the actions—or lack thereof—that Del Rosario has taken to resolve this case are insufficient. There is no immediate response, from what Del Rosario has mentioned, he only has thoughts of a long term response in hopes of reflection. 

In hindsight, a long term reflection could be beneficial but that should be decided upon after students are made aware of what has to be reflected on. The CVPD is still conducting their investigation on the perpetrator and their identity is still unknown, but there is still a chance that it could have been done by a student. If it was, that means a student harbors negative emotions towards the Jewish and LGBTQ+ demographic at school and that needs to be addressed immediately. 

It’s disturbing to think that BVH administration has not informed even its own students of the hate-filled acts that were directed towards one of our school’s demographics. While a big disturbance to the school day isn’t probable, a message through the morning announcements could have been a good way to inform the school of the happenings. 

It’s disturbing to think that BVH administration has not informed even its own students of the hate-filled acts that were directed towards one of our school’s demographics.”

— Melina Ramirez

Now, a month later, most students are still not aware of the spray paint that decorated BVH murals like a shiny poster. The masking of the graffiti is thanks to the quick work of Sweetwater Union High School District’s workers that were dispatched early the morning of Nov. 1. 

“There was one article on KUSI News where it had the image of the anti-Semitic stuff and I just remember it sending shivers down my spine. It was disgusting to see,” President of Israel Club and senior Anna Maya said with her eyebrows furrowed. “Which I think was ridiculous because I didn’t have to [miss] school to not know about this.”

Maya organized a workshop where students made anti-hate posters and later put them up around school with help from workshop attendees. While it was a great way to show hers and 50 other students’ thoughts on the matter, what will the rest of the school do? Whether it be a petty act by teenagers or not, BVH is intolerant to hate and that image should be shown through the actions of the adults that Del Rosario hopes the student body trusts. 

“It’s my opinion that when the students at a school trust the adults, they’re more likely to let them know when they know things are going on. I believe that students want to go to a school where they feel safe,” Del Rosario said.

Despite Del Rosario’s belief, BVH is muted in comparison to the press conference where the mayor of Chula Vista showed her support and many other community leaders came to speak out against these types of acts. Del Rosario was not present at the press conference. 

“This is not who we are. Graffiti scribbled on institutions of learning, to fill the minds and hopes and souls of our young people and our future generations, filled with hate,” Padilla said at the press conference. “And if history teaches us anything, it teaches us that we must come together as a community, each and every time, and each and every time we must stand and we must speak together and loudly and clearly.”

If Del Rosario has time to cut lunch 15 minutes short because of a horde of running students, then there are certainly enough minutes in the school day for him to announce the actions that were taken on Halloween night. Half of the student body was attacked by the anti-Semitic and homophobic tags left on the school, and yet, the administration is still silent.