Students Make Statements

Gabby Dee, Staff Writer

Wilson students gathered in the Media Center on Thursday and Friday, November 17th and 18th to write statements about behavior and comments made by Wilson teacher Mr. Ken Hamilton, after students’ aunt and parent Elsa Barragan wrote an instagram post that was widely shared.

During lunch on Thursday, November 18th, the Media Center was filled with students writing reports and turning them in. 

One of the organizers that wished to remain anonymous said, “We want student voices to be heard. An act of accountability and justice must be taken by [Mr. Hamilton]. We believe that if there are enough reports all at once, something will finally be put into action.”  

On Wednesday, November 16th, Barrangan posted to the Instagram account, @mariscos_el_garage, a local food truck social media account, that their nephew was working in class and that Mr. Hamilton “made a disturbing comment to my nephew’s group.”

The post continued, “‘This school is lucky they don’t let me bring my 9mm Glock, or else I would have shot four students already.’ He then points to my nephew and says, ‘I would shoot them right here.’” 

At 5:55 p.m. Wednesday evening, an email was sent to teachers, students and parents, informing them that there was a social media post about a teacher making inappropriate comments in class and that the situation was being investigated. 

The e-mail from Principal Rebecca Caverly said, “the teacher involved has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation. Due to laws protecting employee confidentiality, we cannot comment further on the details of personnel matters.”

An anonymous group of students created the Instagram handle, @whs.speakup, organizing a meeting in the school’s Media Center at lunch to write statements and reports regarding their experiences with Mr. Hamilton.

One of the participants, who requested to remain anonymous, said, “I felt very uncomfortable and uneasy as a freshman in class.” 

One of the organizers that wished to remain anonymous said, “There have been numerous reports and nothing gets done. Freshman year, I sent in three complaints and I didn’t even get a call back.”