Fieldston students end lock out, reach agreement with administration

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RIVERDALE -

The lockout is over after days of student protesting for change at the Ethical Culture Fieldston School.

Nearly 90 students took part in the lock out that started Monday -- with some even sleeping at school.

Thirty students spent Wednesday afternoon and evening negotiating with board members and school administrators - alongside alumni mediators who were involved in a similar push for equality at the school almost 50 years ago.

Isbella Ali was one of the students who helped secure the changes, which include racial bias training for all staff and parents, recruiting more students and faculty of color and introducing a mandatory black studies course to the curriculum.

“We'll make sure that they implement the demands that they have agreed too,” says Ali.

The Board of Trustees signed off on 16 long-term improvements put forth by members of the "Students of Color Matter" movement. One of their demands for the administration was establishing a new system to report bias.

MORE: Students protest racism in schools with sit-in movement

The campaign was launched to fight for a more inclusive learning environment at Fieldston after a video recently surfaced showing other students engaging in racist and hateful behavior a few years back.

State Attorney General Letitia James released a statement saying, "Students in this state and around the country often learn about the importance of activism, civil rights, and social justice in their textbook, but rarely do they have the opportunity to live it."

 

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