The Importance Of Racism In Schools

1375 Words 6 Pages
Valley High School (VHS) in West Des Moines, Iowa is one of the biggest and most successful schools in Iowa. Valley offers a large range of academic courses, a dominating athletics program, a strong arts department, and a long list of activities for its students. However, recently, deep racial disparities have been uncovered as a result of race related fights at the school which led into school shooting threats. Valley asked an Iowa State team to conduct a study to help empiricize the racism, and the findings support that individual and institutionalized racism are prominent, causing different high school experiences for students of color (District Action Plan).
The data results of the Iowa State equity report speak for themselves, regardless
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Being marked as special needs, at risk, or suspended not only marginalize groups of people, but undermine their right to a fair education. Students of color on average receive lower AP test scores, and isolate themselves in the school (Salisbury). Feeling uncomfortable or unsafe at their place of learning disrupts the ability to receive a good education and it is unacceptable.
Racism in schools began in earlier American history, when schools were segregated. It wasn’t until the 1950s in which Brown vs. Board of education ruled that segregated schools were unconstitutional, and black students attended a white school for the first time in Little Rock, Arkansas. Pretending like problems of our history do not exist anymore are problematic and they must be addressed.
VHS as attempted to prevent racism and discrimination by instituting anti racism education, encouraging students to have kindness and respect for all people. However, kindness and respect do not go far enough. Kindness and respect policies devolve into “Sweep it under the rug” policies, that which ignore issues of oppression since it has no clear standards or efforts attached. Students that fail to see the existence of racism will never stop and real change will never be invoked using this policy. Kindness and respect is not a comprehensive guide for decision making for school administration. Kindness and respect are too subjective and are superficial to most students, therefore a more radical choice must be

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