Fifteen-year-old Sojourner James, a smart and bubbly sophomore At The High School of Graphic Communication Arts (HSGCA) has many friends. But she refuses to go to her science class after reading a nasty blog in March mentioning her on the adult lurkingglass.com.
High school is a place where students should feel safe, welcomed and most of all respected. Some students at HSGCA said they don’t feel respected because a teacher at the school allegedly wrote racist remarks about her students.
“Don’t forget- THE Sojourner <B>SO BLACK<P> attends my school!” the blog said. “And the crazy bitch is in my class.”
Fatoumata Toure, 15 wasn’t expecting to read a blog with her name in it referring to her as “a ghetto bitch.” It wasn’t until she was told by a friend, Tanazurae Rivera, 14, who discovered the blog by searching her own name on Google.
The blog listed a bunch of students’ names identifying their race and making critical analysis about them. According to the students’ names in the blog, it became obvious to them that the blogger had to be their science teacher Kristine Sakariasen.
“It’s not a coincidence [that all these students’ names are in the blog]. All of these kids are on her roster,” James said.
In fact, Rivera said she saw photos of Sakariasen on the blog’s profile.
“There were pictures of her and her friends, a picture of her pushing a rock,” Rivera said. “She even had the same Northface [jacket] on that she wears to school.”
After the blog was discovered, a group of students confronted Sakariasen asking her about the blog. A student who was part of that group said she denied all allegations and even called the principal to make complaints about the students because she felt threatened As a result, a meeting was conducted with the principal, the assistant principals, Sakariasen and a few students.
The meeting was dismissed and the principal told students the matter would be investigated. When Principal Jerod Resnick was asked about the investigation, he refused to comment.
The Department of Education verified that the situation is under investigation. ”
“We take this matter very seriously.” Margie Seinberg of the Communications Department said. “The allegation was brought to the principal’s attention; he referred the matter to the special commissioners’ office.”
Investigators questioned some of the students and the teacher. But, Sakariasen wouldn’t use the word investigation but that it’s merely being “looked at.”
Some of the students said there’s been no talk about the investigation, which gives them the impression that situation is being “swept under the rug,” said LaiElle Whitaker, 15.
A teacher in the school said the language in the blog suggests that the writer is an adult. The blogger mentioned a student named Adonis saying, “Adonis NOT BLACK AND NOT AN ADONIS.” The average New York City high school student might not know that Adonis is a Greek God who is known for his good looks. That’s why they think that only a well-rounded, college educated individual would be more likely to know about Greek mythology.
Juanita Gatling, 18, along with a math teacher don’t believe that Sakariasen wrote the comments. They said they don’t think that she would put her job at risk by writing a public blog displaying racism.
“We shouldn’t have to go on a scavenger hunt looking for [the blogger],” said Liza Marie Polanco, 14. “They should just come forward.”
Sakariasen didn’t admit that she wrote the blog, but she didn’t deny it either.
“The idea of me being a racist made me sick,” Sakariasen said.
By Nyiesha Showers