Wednesday, February 22, 2017
Because of harassment messages received about its white diversity high school essay contest, TEAM Westport today announced that applicants would be allowed to remain anonymous to the public if they desire.
The contest, sponsored with the Westport Library, received national and international attention after The Associated Press wrote about it last month. (See WestportNow Jan. 31, 2017)
An announcement said the widespread coverage “has provoked verbal and written harassment of some committee members and Town of Westport employees and personnel.
“The majority of this type of correspondence appears to have originated from out of town and, generally, from out of state,” the committee said.
“There is concern, however, that this increased coverage may have made potential contestants reticent to submit an essay for fear of similar harassment.
“Because the well being of young people in the community is a priority, the essay sponsors have determined that the option of anonymity is appropriate.” (WestportNow first reported on Feb. 7 that an anonymous option was being considered. See WestportNow Feb. 7, 2017)
The announcement said at the April 3 public ceremony, contest judges would read the winning essays of any students who have chosen private acknowledgement of their accomplishment.
Those who choose public acknowledgement will be able to read their essays themselves, the announcement said.
All winning essays will be published, with anonymity provided to those students who chose that option, the committee added.
TEAM Westport and the Westport Library reminded residents that the contest is open to students in grades 9, 10, 11, and 12 who attend Staples High School or another school in Westport, or reside in Westport and attend school elsewhere. The deadline to submit essays is Monday, Feb. 27.
The committee said the essay contest application on the TEAM Westport website (http://www.teamwestport.org ) is being revised to reflect this new choice for parents and students.
TEAM stands for Together Effectively Achieving Multiculturalism.
An example of some of the hate stirred by the TEAM Westport essay contest was published today in a blog called The Occidental Observer, which headlined its essay: “TEAM Westport: A Case Study in anti-White Activism.”
Posted 02/22/17 at 04:22 PM Permalink