Rebuilding and reflecting

Mid-Pacific Baseball Field
Mid-Pacific Baseball Field
Charlize Gaudiello

It has become common knowledge that 10 students were separated from Mid-Pacific following a social media video posted on Feb. 15 that spread through the community.

The 56-second-video consisted of 11 varsity baseball players, with one behind the camera asking the question: “If you could have a superpower, what would it be?” The responses included racial slurs, hate speech, sexually aggressive language, and mentions of bestiality.

The video was recorded primarily on Mid-Pacific property, and the boys’ wore shirts with the Mid-Pacific baseball logo. After an initial posting on a private social media account, it was quickly re-posted to other accounts.

The separation, Mid-Pacific’s preferred word to denote expulsion, of the boys has ignited a fire throughout campus. Differing opinions about the video have been circulating through the community for the past week. One part of the community has gone so far as to start a petition to reinstate the boys who were separated. It states:

“While we do not seek to condone or excuse their behavior, we firmly believe that these video clips do not accurately represent the true characters of the children involved. Many have been exemplary student-athletes with no history of behavioral issues before this incident. While we recognize the need for consequences, considering each student’s history, we feel that a more individualized approach may result in a more appropriate and constructive outcome.”

As of Feb. 23, 170 people have signed the petition. However, some signatures are forgeries, leaving the true number unknown.

Although the students separated are undoubtedly affected by the situation, the entire school’s reputation has been called into play. Some students, while attending outside events, have said they are being viewed negatively, don’t feel comfortable saying they’re from Mid-Pacific, and often feel embarrassed. Other results include the vandalization of a car owned by one of the remaining baseball members.

Administration has stated that the actions of a few Mid-Pacific students don’t represent the entirety of the Mid-Pacific community. However, many wonder if this issue is still present within campus culture, especially within the baseball team and the athletics department.

As students are still processing the reality of the situation, the school’s main priority has been to ensure every student feels safe on campus. At a brief assembly on Tuesday, administration encouraged students to talk to any trusted adult on campus about the incident.

Several Mid-Pacific teachers have reserved portions of their regular class time to discuss this matter.

“The consensus has been that there needs to be a space to discuss what’s going on. Students have generally wanted transparency and communication that they feel that they aren’t getting,” English teacher Dr. Kara Hisatake said.

Although there are many positions that students have agreed upon, the nuances of the situation are often cause for disagreement among the community.

Some students said that the expulsion was too harsh of a punishment, a restorative justice approach should have been considered, and that the administration should clearly state the disciplinary process of significant offenses.

Additionally, students want to know what the administration is doing to prevent such actions from reoccurring.

On Feb. 23 a meeting was hosted by administration and counselors with approximately 20 members of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Club and the Black Design Club in attendance. The goal was to offer a safe place for students to share their feelings and to receive feedback on how the administration can move forward.

As students participate in conversations, Na Pueo wants to encourage students to behave respectfully and demonstrate their own positive values on a daily basis. Violence against any students, regardless of involvement in the incident, is not tolerated on any level, per Mid-Pacific’s community guidelines.

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