Black Student Union petitions to reinstate SRHS security guard


Maddie Alsterlind

San Rafael High School administration has not yet reinstated Hughes to his security position at the school.

In late October, a freshman at San Rafael High School (SRHS) verbally assaulted African American campus security guard Royce Hughes, using offensive racial slurs. In response to this attack, Hughes allegedly knocked a tray of food out of the student’s hands, resulting in a temporary termination from his position, and the student’s suspension. The SRHS administration has released few details about the incident, and has yet to reinstate Royce to his security position. 

Royce Hughes is part of the 0.8% of African American staff and students who make up the SRHS community. On Thursday, Nov. 10, the SRHS Black Student Union (BSU) established a petition to reinstate Royce Hughes, which has received approximately 1,160 signatures since its inception.

SRHS junior Marguerite Walden-Kaufman, president of the BSU, established the group during her sophomore year of high school. The BSU’s main purpose is to educate SRHS students about Black culture and history. Marguerite, on behalf of the BSU created the petition after learning about the incident.

“Mr. Hughes is one of the only black staff members on campus. Not only does that make him a beacon for us black students on campus, but seeing a black man in a position of authority and respect allows us to see a part of ourselves and believe that we too might be able to achieve bigger things. Seeing a person we hold in such high regard be subject to consistent hate speech has a tremendously negative impact upon us,” Marguerite wrote in the petition statement.

According to the statement, the suspended student has returned to campus with no further recourse, while Hughes remains on leave. 

According to Marguerite, hate speech directed towards Hughes has occurred in numerous prior instances, but the events of the past month have shed a light on the ongoing treatment of Mr. Hughes.   

“This has not been the first time that Mr. Hughes has been called the ‘n’ word,” Marguerite said.

The school’s administration has not yet released or confirmed any information regarding the incident, leaving the SR community unclear about how the problem is being addressed. Marguerite hopes that restorative justice practices will be put into place at the school, specifically with the student in question, so that similar incidents no longer occur. 

“We need to be willing to work together as a community to achieve something for the greater good,” Marguerite said.   

While SRHS administrators were invited to speak on the matter, they have not yet responded to The Pitch’s requests for comment.