Four Iona Prep students, Keshawn Mcdowell, Jordan Dunbar, Avery Turton, and Jaear Micheal (The Iona Prep 4) spoke exclusively to Black Westchester from in front of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr statue in White Plains, about discrimination and racism they have faced from teachers, coaches, and even fellow students during the scholastic career at Iona Prep.
Iona Preparatory School is an independent, Roman Catholic, all-male, college preparatory school located in the north end of New Rochelle, but the systematic racism these Black Students faced is far from the picture the school paints to parents and the community.
There was one incident where a teacher asked two black students which one of the the monkeys on the screen are they taking to prom and another was teachers telling students to sit in the back of the class saying ‘go sit in the back of the bus’. Another student who is on the Honor Society was sent for anger management because he spoke up. There are often the only African-Americans in his class and have never had a Black Teachers in their four years at the school.
Feeling they just had to keep there heads down, walk on eggshells and not rock the boat, the Iona Prep 4 haven’t even shared everything they faced at school with their parents. One parent told me at the end of the interview told us this was the first time he heard what was going on in such detail.
The Iona Prep 4, are all members of the Class of 2020 and all college-bound, were tried being silenced and wanted everyone to know the culture of racial discrimination of the school to future students and their parents before they pay so much money for a better education without knowing about what the school really is like and to speak up for students still going there that can’t speak up.
We called Iona Prep got a recording and left a message and never heard back from the school, so we posted the interview and we will send it the school.
In the exclusive interview, the Iona Prep 4 – who were told to take down their social media post by coaches so the school doesn’t get a reputation or racism, without ever dealing with or investigating their complaints – speak to Black Westchester. Watch the video below and see the students tell their story in their own words.
After talking to other students and realizing its not just Iona Prep, but also some other predominantly white private schools, the Iona Prep 4 planned a rally. They are calling on all student-athletes and student leaders to come tell their stories about racism and discrimination they have either had to deal with or seen first hand. The rally will take place Saturday, July 11th from 2-4:00pm at the Westchester County Center located at 198 Central Avenue in White Plains. They are asking the Black Community to stand in solidarity with them. Black Westchester will be there.