Flint Hill’s Response to the Issues Faced by Our Community

Interview with Mia Burton and Angela Brown

By Swetha Madiraju, Editor

Recent events have caused communities from all around the nation to reassess the way they operate and fix any issues that pertain to equal rights and treatment for all. Our Flint Hill community is no stranger to the problems faced by the rest of society, as “we are a microcosm of the larger society,” said Ms. Brown, the Director of Marketing and Communications for Flint Hill. However, Ms. Brown and Ms. Burton, the Director of Institutional Equity and Inclusion, brought up the fact that “this does not mean that our school cannot be an example for others to follow.” In other words, although we have many obstacles, they must be overcome in order to be a community that truly cares for all of its members, regardless of who they are. 

When I looked back on my personal experience with the school, I had realized that there were many issues to be worked on in our community. The use of racial slurs or microaggressions, the misogyny and sexism, the privilege, and most important of all, the ignorance, was prevalent throughout the school. At first, seeing these problems pop up during the first few weeks of my freshman year scared me.  As a brown girl, I was not sure if this was the school for me. However, I later realized that these issues presented opportunities for me and my peers, as well as the adults in the building, to work together and solve them as a team. 

The most important thing that I learned from the interview with Ms. Burton and Ms. Brown was that the school is willing to listen and work on what has to be done. They acknowledged that “mistakes have been made in the past,” but the school is taking all measures to make sure that all issues are seriously taken care of. They strongly urged everyone to report any issues they see or face because Flint Hill “can’t do much about it when incidents are not reported.” To make our community more inclusive and safer for everyone, we must work together, not against each other. They harped on the importance of communication between the students and the administrators to make sure that everyone knows their voices are being heard. 

At the end of our discussion, Ms. Brown said, “This is exactly what student-teacher trust needs to look like. We can use this as an opportunity to shed any light that we can in some small way to show what work is actually being done.” She explained to me that it was discussions like this interview between students and faculty that bring both parties to an understanding that they are working together against the problem, not against each other. 

Ms. Burton told me that, as I learned later in my high school experience, we should look upon this time as a time to show our individuality and use that to solve issues we face as a community. She said, “We have an opportunity here to use the spirit of innovation that we pride in this school to help guide us through these times. To help examine us as a community. It’s going to take all of us to come together and acknowledge our mistakes and use that to make us better. We’re going to have to learn from them and engage and build trust. And we’re going to have to trust that people know that we are more than a collection of mistakes.”