Shasta High takes action after student hands out 'deportation notices'
REDDING, Calif. - Shasta High School is taking disciplinary steps after a student handed out 'deportation notices' to other students as a joke, an incident that gained national attention.
The principal, Leo Perez, noted a student handed out the letters to just his friends. However, a video was taken and then posted onto social media.
"It's been a very hurtful experience for many in our community and a lot of people outside our community," Perez stated.
Perez, along with Desi Carrasco, the student body president, said this is not reflective of their school
"I mean this is especially harmful to our campus climate," Carrasco said. "I want people to know about Shasta High School is that we are a school that honors respect, that does not promote or condone any actions of this sort."
The school could not legally discuss what disciplinary actions they took, but Perez said, "There is disciplinary action being taken. It is significant."
Alumni sent an open letter to the school with steps they would like Perez to take. He noted he saw the letter.
"Their comment, their suggestions were insightful," Perez explained.
Perez said phone calls and emails of what the school should do have been flooding in. He reiterated they are taking action to create a safe environment.
He mentioned the students spent most of their first-period class Monday talking about being respectful.
"They were engaged in dialogue about what we can do as a collective, students, staff, parents and community to make sure this continues to be a welcoming school," Perez stated. "What was amazing about that is some of the teachers took very different approaches. We had some classrooms where the kids were comfortable enough to role play."
Perez added students were then reminded about the dangers of posting on social media.
"We use something call the THINK poster and what that does is it talks about... 'Is it true?', 'Is it helpful?', 'Is it inspiring?' 'Is it necessary?' and 'Is it kind?', if not then don't put it on social media," he said.
Students also learned about the resources available to them.
"The third thing that we covered with our staff today, or that the staff covered this the students was you know having a pathway for healing and reestablishing the sense of safety and acceptance here at school," Perez noted.
Perez wants students to feel they can come to school and feel safe.
"I want this school to be a safe school for every single student regardless of their point of view or how they view themselves," he said.
Carrasco and Perez hope students will come together and learn from this incident.
"We are just trying to unify the school. We are having thorough discussions on the issues," Carrasco stated. "We really care about this issue and really want to see resolve within it."
Perez said the teachers took notes of their class discussions to see what else they can do to help their students.