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A week of disturbing events

By Thursday, Oct 3, 2019 Letters 15

To the editor:

For residents of Great Barrington, this past week has been especially tumultuous, beginning with the rowdy and badly managed demonstration in front of the Mason Library last Friday — notwithstanding a good cause that residents might have otherwise applauded. This was followed by an unsettling incident of anonymous trespassing and objects erected on a neighbor’s property. But most alarming was the statement of fact by the Berkshire Edge very soon after an allegedly traumatic incident involving a Simon’s Rock student.

The sentences below from the news in The Berkshire Edge on Saturday are disturbing, not only for the reporter’s statement of fact, but the quote seems to indicate increasingly selective respect practiced at Simon’s Rock, though apparently, other minority groups were targeted. We are only one human race — that’s science. We learn from our cultural differences but all deserve equal respect (as well as verifiable facts from journalists.)

Following the assault of a student of color on the Simon’s Rock campus Friday (September 27) and the appearance of anti-Semitic graffiti and racist slurs written on the walls of campus buildings, regular classes have been canceled for this week, students and faculty were informed through an email from the college’s Senior Leadership Team.

“In response to the intensity of last week’s events and the impact on campus, especially for our Black students, faculty and staff, we have worked with the BSU (Black Student Union) and faculty to cancel classes for the week,” read an email to students from the seven members of the college’s leadership team…..

We’ve supported and attended many fine and enlightening events over the years — by the excellent faculty and a bright and diverse student body, but unfortunately have also been aware of tragic events. Perhaps additional well-trained counselors would be helpful on the campus of Simon’s Rock rather than the creation of separate and distinct groups that foster disunity by their very existence. Young people, especially intelligent ones, can generally be relied upon to sort out peer differences with little outside interference, and serious problems, hopefully, with mature and responsible help and guidance.

Ruth Heuberger

Oak Street

Great Barrington