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How Laurel School is responding to racism, and why some alumnae and students feel it isn’t enough

Cleveland.com |

A petition about Laurel School, signed by 226 alumnae and 37 current students, expresses frustration with the administration and how leaders deal with racism at the predominantly-white private school.

Notably, the petition also asks for administration to stop placing a burden on students of color at the school. “We demand that the administration stop calling on its BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and people of color) students for advice in every situation involving race at Laurel. As educators and administrators, they should be able to solve these problems without placing undue stress on children,” the petition reads.

After the death of George Floyd in May, which sparked intense protests in Cleveland and across the country and a nationwide reckoning with race and police brutality, the school decided to launch an anti-racism task force and made multiple announcements over the summer about changes to come.

Laurel, founded in 1896, is an all-girls school with campuses in Shaker Heights and Russell Township, in Geauga County.