A middle school in Massachusetts announced the implementation of “safe spaces” for students who may have been offended by the verdict in the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse, as well as the Ahmaud Arbery trial, as reported by Fox News.
Bigelow Middle School, located in Newton, Massachusetts, made the announcement as part of its “midweek update” on December 1st, in an email sent out to students and parents. The email requested that parents review a letter further explaining the “safe space choices” that the school would offer to students in the wake of the two trials.
Three different “safe space” options were listed in the letter: “Reactions to Verdicts: Hearing and learning from peers,” “Rumor Control Room: Facts presented in cases, today’s laws and final verdicts,” and “Questions & Discussion for Students of Color.”
Describing both verdicts as sensitive topics with many layers of political, racial and social concerns,” the letter encourages students to “come together with other Bigelow students of color to process and get answers to any questions you have regarding these two cases.”
The letter then proceeds to display a blatant double-standard between the two cases, describing the Rittenhouse verdict as yet another unfair reality for many Bigelow families, staff and students — particularly our community members of color,” while calling the Arbery verdict “a glimpse of hope and justice.”
Kyle Rittenhouse, a teenager from Antioch, Illinois, was actively protecting local businesses in Kenosha, Wisconsin in the midst of race riots during the summer of 2020. Along with several of his friends, he was armed with an AR-15 rifle on the night of August 25th, 2020, when several rioters began threatening and intimidating him. After becoming separated from his friends, Rittenhouse was attacked by multiple rioters who tried to take his rifle from him; he ultimately shot and killed two rioters, Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber, and injured a third, Gaige Grosskreutz.
At the conclusion of his trial last month, he was acquitted of all four charges against him, including the most severe count of first-degree intentional homicide. His trial was highly politicized, with many on the Left falsely denouncing him as a “White supremacist” and also criticizing his possession of a firearm, while many on the Right defended it as a clear case of self-defense after justifiably taking action to protect his community from terrorism, looting, and vandalism.
In the Arbery trial, three men in Georgia – Travis McMichael, Greg McMichael, and William “Roddie” Bryan – were all found guilty of felony murder less than a week after the Rittenhouse verdict. The trial revolved around the death of Ahmaud Arbery, a black man who confronted the men in February of 2020 and, at some point, initiated an altercation in which he tried to take Travis’s shotgun; Travis ultimately shot him and killed him. The men had believed Arbery to possibly be guilty of burglary in the neighborhood where the confrontation took place, while others defended Arbery as simply going for a jog at the time of the incident.
A spokesperson for Bigelow defended the concept of the “safe spaces” when asked for comment, saying that they “fully support our schools’ efforts to create space and support for all of our students and staff members and are grateful that we have school leaders who are committed to engaging in this important work.”
“We know that students experience events differently, and it is our responsibility to not overlook the impact and harm on all community members, including those who are traditionally marginalized, such as people of color,” the spokesperson continued. “In this particular case, we acknowledge the need for students to learn more about the context of the case and to provide space for them to process and discuss it.”