Our classmates recently had the privilege of being featured in The Philadelphia Inquirer for their work related to the junior class fundraising efforts. We, as members of the junior class, are writing to voice our support for Black Lives Matter as the junior class spirit week fundraising organization.
Haddonfield Memorial High School (HMHS) classes each select an organization for which to raise funds during our annual spirit week. In a typical year, events are held including hallway decorating, dine and donates, penny counts, etc. to build class spirit and to raise funds for the chosen organization. This year, Black Lives Matter Philly was selected as the organization for funds by the majority of the junior class. However, there were some complaints from a few students and parents, and a second organization was then named as an alternate. After further meetings with school administration and community members, the decision to have BLM Philly as the sole junior class charity was made.
We are unequivocal in our belief that everyone deserves respect and fair treatment. All humans should belong to a community that they can call home, and live knowing that others have their back. We acknowledge that Haddonfield has a history of race-related issues and decisions where people of color have been further marginalized. We appreciate the community’s, the school administration’s, and school board’s support in our selection of BLM Philly.
We see this experience as an opportunity for Haddonfield to chart a new course.
We regret that matters such as this one need to be debated at all. Why would we, given our privileges, not try to ensure that all people have the opportunity to live full and authentic lives? What type of community are we a part, and what type of community do we want to create? The choice is ours. Our class has chosen to stand up and we are proud of our classmates, parents, and the community support we have received.
If you are interested in donating to BLM Philly, you may send a check to Haddonfield Memorial High School made out to HMHS Class of 2022, attention Rachel Gould, or, donate online at https://blmphilly.wedid.it/ and indicate HMHS Class of 2022 in the comments section so that your donation is counted towards our fundraising efforts.
Grace Ann McGrath