Race Relations at FHS


Elise Ravech, Writer

Diversity– “The practice or quality of including or involving people from a range of different social and ethnic backgrounds and of different genders, sexual orientations, etc” is what comes up when searched on google. But what does this really mean?

To myself and many others, diversity is being inclusive to all and not just the ones we look like; it is standing up for someone even if you don’t know them. It is being a kind human- when you see people being judged based on the color of their skin and you stand up for them. We all deserve equal kindness and respect.

In order to deep dive into race relations at Franklin High School, I interviewed Mr. Hanna and have included his thoughts.

When asked if he saw a problem with diversity and race at FHS or lack thereof, Mr. Hanna explains that he doesn’t see a problem. He states, “It is more than a challenge than a problem” mainly because Franklin is not not the size of the world, so how can it be expected to be as diverse as the world.

However, the principal plans to create a more diverse and inclusive community by hopefully starting an international program here at FHS. Of course, he wants everyone to remember that this takes time to set up and there are still many COVID restrictions happening world wide.

He goes on to explain that this is what they had at his previous school, Hopkinton High School. Mr.Hanna describes how students could travel from all over the country (if their school supported it), and would stay for five – ten months. There was around 22 students in the program and students would come to HHS to learn and gain new experiences.

This was beneficial to all of the students because they would get to know more students and understand different cultures. He adds that Hopkinton High would host many cultural nights, so students could feel at home while physically away from home.

The symbolism of puzzle pieces all connecting, to the real world friendships being made through diversity awareness.

Hoping to foster strong student bonds and friendships, the first-year FHS principal hopes that a similar international exchange program can be set up here. More importantly, he wants to create an environment where, “… if students see someone being shut out because of their ethnicity or race, that they will remember those strong connections, and they will say No that isn’t right. I know people from that background and they are just people too, like you and I.

It is vital that at the end of the day we remember that we are all humans, just trying to live a happy and healthy life. A need to understand that we are all different and have different ideas on things is incredibly important when realizing that these varying perspectives should bring us together, not pull us apart.

On a more personal level, Mr. Hanna believes that diversity and inclusion are very important. He wants not only those who attend FHS, but everyone to know that the world is becoming a smaller place and people are becoming more and more interconnected. We all need to understand that to survive, we can’t be isolated like we are now.¬† We all must, “[be] respectful, open our hearts, minds and ears.”

Mr. Hanna wants all of use to remember that we are PANTHERS- in which the N in panther is for “nurture” because we must take care of others!