Blair teacher and student published in The Washington Post


April 19, 2004, midnight | By Katherine Zhang | 16 years, 9 months ago


Journalism teacher John Mathwin and junior Roxana Hadadi both had letters to the editor published in The Washington Post in April.

Hadadi's letter to the editor, written in response to Ylan Q. Mui's article Beyond Black and White, was published on April 14. Hadadi discussed the lack of recognition for "Arab Americans, Indian Americans, Persian Americans and numerous Middle Eastern students" at Blair. "Ylan M. Qui documented that one student described himself as ‘Persian', but at Blair, the Middle Eastern race doesn't seem to exist," Hadadi wrote, asserting that even though Middle Easterners are "technically Asian," they are unable to consider themselves Asian because they are not "ethnically Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese or other classically ‘Asian' nationalities."

"As a Persian American student at Blair, I find it disturbing that a school that prides itself on one kind of diversity refuses to acknowledge the other minorities within its walls," Hadadi said in her letter.

Mathwin's letter to the editor, published on April 10, pointed out that chemistry teacher Stephen Robertson's warnings to MCPS about elevated levels of lead in water fountains at Seneca Valley High School were not the first time that MCPS mishandled the reports of lead contaminations.

Mathwin explained that in 1986 the county "discovered that the water from many of its drinking fountains was contaminated with lead" and that although janitors were supposed to flush fountains daily, none of the janitors at Blair "knew anything about a flushing program" two years later. Mathwin further mentioned that in 1989 a Silver Chips article prompted MCPS to again test its water fountains, and despite results showing that one-third of the fountains were contaminated, the school system's newsmagazine, the Bulletin, barely acknowledged that the problem existed. Furthermore, the first school to test positive for lead recently confessed that it did not flush its fountains daily, Mathwin said.



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Katherine Zhang. Katherine Zhang likes French baguettes, Pyotr Tchaikovsky, bookmarks, fresh boxes of rosin, Brad Meltzer novels, and of course, "JAG." In her free time, Katherine enjoys knitting, playing the violin, and reading - especially legal thrillers and books about people in faraway places and long-ago times. … More »

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