Archer High School: Lawrenceville, GA.

This has been a terrible week for race relations given what has transpired with Terence Crutcher, Keith Lamont Scott, East Coast bombings and Mid-West stabbings, and now racial threats against Black students in Gwinnett County, Georgia.

I will not say a lot about the Archer High School incident because this case (and the linked article) speaks for itself. It is clear that something must be done very quickly, but what? Today, many of Archer’s students dressed in black in solidarity with the #BlackLivesMatter movement. The students are clearly ready to make a change on their campus and I will be there to give them a voice with the administration. On Monday at 8:00am I will have a meeting with Archer’s Principal, Mr. Ken Johnson where I will present him with our issues and seek solutions.

As someone who has been formally trained in organizing and protest, I have several ideas of my own. But this is not my fight alone. I am asking that the students and parents of Archer High School please use this space to communicate to me what it is that you would like to see happen. In turn, I will summarize your desires and present them to Principal Johnson on Monday. We will not let racists or racism make us afraid to earn an education! We will succeed together!

In Solidarity,

Dr. Pierce

unity-hands

28 thoughts on “Archer High School: Lawrenceville, GA.

    1. Ms. Simmons, thank you! I am putting together our platform now. I have some interviews planned with the media right after my meeting with Principal Johnson.

      In your opinion, what needs to be done?

      Like

  1. Here’s a skeleton of what I would like to see occur:

    1) Any student who has been found to be making race-based threats needs to be removed from Archer High School. This should either be an expulsion or a one-year suspension. A strong message of intolerance for this behavior needs be be sent.

    2) Principal Johnson needs to take some strides toward letting us know that should something of this magnitude occur again, that it will not be handled by simply issuing a statement; this may mean sensitivity training for the entire school, but certainly the faculty and staff. I find that his statement, while civil and courteous, does not fit the offense, nor does his disciplinary response.

    3) All students (with an emphasis on minority students) need to be made to feel comfortable with attending school. No child should have to be afraid to show up to class. In the coming weeks, there should be an extra police/security presence while we work to deescalate this situation.

    4) Students of color should have a permanent liaison that they can communicate with to report threats or general discomforts. This person should be someone separate from the existing power structure at Archer High School.

    5) The student code of conduct needs to be reviewed to see ways that we can better account for non-verbal threats via social media, and student’s who are abusive via social media should be disciplined academically and prosecuted criminally where appropriate.

    What are your thoughts?

    Like

    1. You do realize that it’s the black people who are threatening the white people? They literally made a hit list. The white kid made a racist comment, and all the blacks joined up together and literally tried to take the kid out. That’s what needs to be addressed. Yes the kid who posted the stuff on Twitter is stupid, but the way the blacks reacted is ridiculous. To stop racism,don’t solo out “people of color should have a place to go to” it needs to be all people.

      Like

      1. Nick, thanks for the input.

        If you read what I’ve been advocating for, you’d know that I’ve been asking the student protestors to respond without disrespect. I agree that both sides need to be addressed.

        I do not want you or anyone else to think that just because I am a Black man with interest in minority students, that I support poor behavior from EITHER side.

        Like

  2. Thank you for doing this, I honestly think this will help not only Archer High but also every school in the state of Georgia

    Like

  3. I feel that all students should be addressed!I think what bothered the students the most is due to fact that they were not addressed the way they felt they should have been!They should have been told that this would not be tolerated whether Black, while, hispanic, Asian any race!!!PERIOD!No student should feel uncomfortable going to school! Alot of friends not of color and color felt uncomfortable going to school!I am monitory however I stand behind everyone human any race!These are not just kids they’re our future!I 100% agree that the code of conduct does need to be reviewed regarding social media!This is an issue that needs to be addressed and we should not turn our heads the other way!!Everyone should be responsible for what they put on social media!Accountability!!!Sorry for the long reply but this issue is important for me and everyone I know!!!

    Like

    1. Don’t apologize for speaking your mind!

      I agree that this problem cannot be solved by speaking to only one side or the other. The second point in our five-point program is to call for workshops and sensitivity training for all involved.

      Like

  4. It needs to be everybody. If you solo out minoroties or just people of color, that in itself is racist. The black people are being more racist than anything, but that’s just shrugged off because they’re black. They’re the issue.

    Like

  5. Leave the media out people like you are escalating the situation by having interviews with the media. The best thing you can do is stay out of it and let the county handle it instead of looking for 5 seconds of fame. We are talking about a few kids that have a terrible view but you SIR are dividing the community. If this continues I can honestly say I’m embarrassed to be a part of a community that’s allowing a few people to divide it. I believe in people who love each other regardless of race. The problem is people like yourself that take us back to the days when race was a real issue. Let it go…teach your kids there is no such thing as color only people. If you live in the past you are destined to repeat it.

    Like

    1. I respectfully disagree.

      There should be someone to make sure that people are being treated fairly. To me, you desire to have no one advocate on the behalf of students who have been deeply affected (of ALL races), then you are not helping at all.

      I am a voice for the voiceless. I am unapologetic about that. I will continue to fight for equality.

      Tell me what I have to gain personally for taking up this cause and why I need press?

      Like

  6. I have to agree with mr anonymous…these kids have a voice. Equality we live in one of the most diverse country’s in the world we have a African American president and a woman running for president. As a black father I teach my kids to tune people like you out. I teach them to see no color. Stop putting yourself in the middle of situation that’s being over blown by the media. This is the very reason we cant move on from the past.

    Like

    1. Concerned Father:

      Who has so far listened to these young people? What have they gotten? What has been resolved?

      If having a Black President and a Female Democratic candidate was the end of our troubles, then how did we wind up with KKK threats? You can pretend that there is no problem and that everything is okay if you want, but the facts say otherwise.

      Did the media wave the Confederate Flag and make racist comments to Archer High School students? Did I? Seems like we are not much better off (in this regard) than we were in the 1950s.

      If you saw a big issue that could grow to become a huge issue, would you stand by in silence, or would you do something about it? In my opinion, if you are witnessing oppression, racism, and inhumanity and you do nothing, especially when you have the ability to do something helpful, then you are as bad as the oppressors.

      One more thing: I am not coaching the Archer student’s actions one bit. But when I see them working to help themselves, it makes me want to help them, especially when it is obvious that there are many who are not, present company included.

      You can teach your kids to ignore what is right in their faces, and as a dad myself I would never tell you what you should or should not teach your children, but ignoring the facts do not make them disappear.

      Respectfully,

      KP

      P.S. Where would you be in life as a Black male if no one ever fought for you?

      Like

  7. As a student attending Archer High School I would love to see more activities and pep rallies that appeal to EVERYONE. We should get involved as a whole! Become ONE body!

    Like

    1. I completely agree. At some point very soon, race has to stop being a major issue. What’s most important is that students get back to being one student body. I believe that if done properly, #ArcherUnited can be fully realized.

      Like

  8. Where would we all be without the founding fathers that fought for all of our rights? The issues we face are brought on by violent people who refuse to obey the law. We have to leave the past in the past where it belongs. I am not ignoring it I choose to teach my children that we should not focus on the oppression from the days of slavery but move past it. We live in a world where it’s ok for any race or gender to be married. My brother far too many African Americans use our history as an excuse not to elvole. We teach the very hate we are seeing today. We live in a new world the sooner the African American community realizes we need to look deep into our communities and stop killing each other the faster we can all move past this. We put way to much focus on people of color and special rights for them. If we want to be treated like everyone else we need to stop the racism we create today. Black schools, Black history month, BET. It seems to me we are a huge part why the world can’t move past this. Stop blaming and start taking accountability archer dose not need you the drug and gang filled neighborhoods do.

    Like

    1. Honestly, I do not agree with many of the things that you say. But I do sincerely appreciate that you have been willing to engage in a dialogue with me without being rude and/or vulgar.

      1) To be clear, I have not, do not, and will not advocate breaking the law.

      2) I’m not interested in fighting a war from 150 years ago, I’m talking about things that have happened this month.

      3) I am very much not a racist and I do not advocate racism. This does not mean that I will ignore it when I see it.

      4) I am not asking for any “special rights” for people of color . . . unless you see the right to a quality education without the fear of violence (for all races) a “special right.”

      5) Are you able to point out where I blamed someone specifically for anything . . . especially based on racial lines?

      6) Drug abuse and gang infestations are just as problematic as racism. They are all problems that need solutions.

      I am someone who saw a problem and went to help. If your children were in need of assistance, would you want me to look and say, “not my kids, not my problem?” If your home were to catch fire (and I hope this never happens), and I had been trained to put out house fires, would you want me to say, “not my house, not my problem?” If I were driving down the road and I saw your significant other with a flat tire and I noticed that no one was helping them to change it, would you be okay if I drove by and said, “not my car, not my tire, not my problem?”

      What you seem to want is for me to be selfish. You want me to sit on my gifts instead of helping people in need.

      Like

  9. As someone on “the inside” I can tell you that the students handles this beiatifully. Their ways of “being heard” we non-violent and did not disrupt education. It was simply the fear of retaliation. What was realized on Friday, is that our student body, all of them, are united. It was the acts of few that divided us for only moments. The “issue” at Archer High School has been handled and recognized. Students are no longer in fear. Outlets have already been shared amongst the school of where to go/who to speak to if there are concerns. At this point, it seems that the agenda you speak of should be directed at the top. GCPS has a standard code of conduct, order of discipline consequences, and how all PR is handled all comes from the county office. That is where concerns should be addressed. Archer High School should be left alone so not to cause anymore disruption/distraction to education. It has been proven that our students love and commrodery is stronger than these few ignorant students.

    Like

    1. Teacher,

      Thank you! I want to be crystal clear. I’m not coming with a group, nor the media, nor with a closed mind. When I get there, I want to discuss two things: 1) what are your plans moving forward; and 2) how might you have accounted for the five points that I find to be critical? Had I not told the world I was going to the school (out of social obligation to those parents who may have something they’d wish to convey, but who themselves my fear retaliation for themselves or their children . . . or who could not take the time off work . . . or who do not feel comfortable questioning authority), I would have walked in on Monday, walked out more informed about the events in question and the plan moving forward, and then would have gone away peacefully PROVIDED that all students are being treated fairly as some have claimed.

      If there are no issues, then there should be no worries. If there is nothing rotten to be detected, then there is no chance of my discovering anything rotten.

      IF all is well and everything is on the up and up locally, then you’re right, my next stop is the county. As an insider I’m sure that you can respect my respect for protocol. There is no way I’d ever go to discuss an issue with the county without first discussing that problem with a local official. You wouldn’t want to have a student who questions your procedures skip asking you any questions and go directly to Principal Johnson, would you?

      Like

  10. You claim to not be “racist”, but I think you need to open your mind to the true definition. People that do what you are doing typically speak about black this and African American that. Preach equality without mentioning race. Why is it okay to have Black Entertainment Television? Why is it ok to have NAACP? This is Racist, there may have been a need for NAACP many years ago but everyone that works hard has opportunity today.

    As for the idiot posting the bigoted comments, why should the school do anything. He made a post on social media. This was not a threat directed at Archer and from what I understand was made from his phone on his dime so to speak. If he went and robbed a store and had a Archer shirt on would you be advocating for him to be expelled?

    Please don’t misunderstand what I am saying. I think what this young man did was ridiculous and his parents should be ashamed and should dissaplin him accordingly but we both know that is probably where he learned this belief. Free speech means just that, but free speech means dealing with the results of that speech.
    For you to suggest that the staff of Archer needs sensitivity training is ridiculous. Staff at Archer have been terrific throughout this ordeal.

    Like

    1. I have been aware of racial issues for nearly all of my life. I have formally studied race for a decade; race is one of my area of expertise.

      I don’t want to talk about what others do, tell me if you’ve seen any evidence of me doing this? Check my blogs. Check my Twitter account. Check my Facebook account.

      But the way to relay to position makes it clear to me that I’m doing the right thing. Consider this:

      There is a person that you work with that posts on their private social media account, “death to Americans” and then names a specific terrorist organization that has been known to kill Americans. Are you saying that if you found this out, that you think nothing should happen to change your work environment at all because this was something done away from work and not directed at a specific individual? And are you also saying that such a post would not make you the least bit uncomfortable as you tried to go about your tasks?

      These are the nuances that I believe people need to be made more sensitive to. You (according to what I am reading) are the type of person that ignores the lived experience of a child who has to go to school everyday with the threat of violence hanging over their heads. You act as if some 15 year old should be as callous as you are.

      Like

  11. 1) there should be a policy addressing racially insensitive symbols on campus such as hailing the confederate flag a symbol long associated with racial violence even yo to the present day with the Charleston massacre.

    On another note, we all need to know our children will be safe. There were threat against the black student body that are proven. Threats against other students such as this hit list is alleged. No one should be bandying around rumors as if they are facts.

    Like

    1. This is very constructive.

      The Confederate flag is an area of concern indeed. It often has different meanings for different groups of people . . . but when it is used with racially insensitive language and KKK rhetoric, it is clear how it is meant to be taken.

      The safety (real and perceived) of all the children is most important. Racism cannot be fought with racism; disrespect cannot be defended against with disrespect. We need common ground and we want school to be a safe space for all involved.

      Thank you for contributing.

      Like

  12. Dr. Pierce, I wholeheartedly support your efforts. I applaud your courage and motivation to step forward and make a positive difference. As an Archer parent I thank you for setting a positive example by showing our kids that it’s important to take action, as opposed to criticizing while doing nothing. Anyone can sit back and criticize the hard work comes in when you take action to make a positive change. Many of us thank you for doing thebwork. Kudos for all that you do. You are truly appreciated.

    Like

  13. Dr. Pierce, I wholeheartedly support your efforts. I applaud your courage and motivation to step forward and make a difference. As an Archer parent I thank you for setting a positive example by showing our kids that it’s important to take action, rather than to sit back and criticize while doing nothing. I find it disheartening that some are able to passionately criticize you for doing something good as opposed to speaking out against a lost teenager tweeting racist comments. Anyone can sit back and criticize the hard work comes in when you take action to make a positive change. Many of us thank you for doing the work. Kudos to you. You are truly appreciated!

    Like

    1. Thank you very much for your kind words.

      I have a question to ask you, but I do not want to ask publicly.

      Please call me @ (773) 865-4782 or email me @ kp@drkennethpierce.com so that we can speak in detail.

      Please know that I am very interested in Archer’s children despite me not having children in the school. Any children affected by injustice are children that I feel I can fight for.

      Best,

      KP

      Like

What's your take?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s