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Discussing Diversity

by Alijah Clark, Fenn School student

Recently, students from The Fenn School and The Nashoba Brooks School gathered together to have a discussion with Joe O’Connor, Chief of Concord Police Department. The students were from the diversity committee talking about local and national issues that are going on around America and Massachusetts. Everybody had an opportunity to ask the Chief a question and to understand his perspective. We also discussed the Presidential debates that had recently occurred. Students explained that we do understand what’s going on. Just because we are kids, doesn’t mean that we don’t know about the debate and election. This was also an opportunity to ask him some personal questions that we might have experienced in our family.

I asked Chief O’Connor about an event that had happened the previous night. My mom pulled over on Route 9 to check something on her phone. While she was on the roadside, a police car rode up behind her. She remembered hearing about innocent people being shot because of the color of their skin. She didn’t feel safe getting out of the car, but she couldn’t get back on the road either in case the police officer was checking her record. So she just waited and waited. She had children waiting for her at home, but she was stuck, too terrified to do anything. I asked the chief how he could assure the safety of my family. He explained to me that police districts around the country train in different ways so each officer would handle the situation in different ways. Luckily for my mom,the officer only wanted to see if she was okay, but that was a still a very scary situation. We had all of our questions answered, and we were extremely grateful to Chief O’Connor for us giving us this opportunity and for him taking time out of his day to come and talk to us.

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