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Unjust racial inequality exists in education

Problems in the system need to change

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Sometimes, teachers do not believe colored students can pass or take advanced classes.

Just because one’s skin color is slightly darker, doesn’t mean faith should disappear. Without even knowing who I am and without ever meeting me, the judgment begins.

During my middle school years, a policy existed allowing a student’s previous English and math teachers to place them in the class they saw fit based on academic performance. In both seventh and eighth grade, I was placed in higher level classes.

As school began, I felt like one of my teachers didn’t notice me. He could barely pronounce my name and I was rarely called on when I raised my hand. It felt like he did not believe in me as much as my classmates.

When I looked around the class, I realized I was one of few other colored people in that class and that I was not alone. I also realized that because I was not only black, but also a Muslim, my struggle was different. I had to face another level of judgment.

As I got older, I learned many people in society judge others based on stereotypes. Regardless of your race, if you are colored, you are treated as a minority. More than 28 percent of black people live in poverty, according to the National Poverty Center. Because they didn’t have a good education, they can’t get well-paying jobs. Some didn’t even graduate from high school.  According to The New York Times, about 6 percent of white people don’t graduate from high school — for black people, it’s twice that.

Judgment happens a lot, especially in education. For example, if teachers see a few black people who are not doing well academically, the teacher loses all hope for other black people. While it’s true there are people in the world who don’t do well in school, that does not mean everyone in that race is the same.

There is a general stereotype in our society that classifies all black people as ones who don’t perform well in school. There needs to be a change — all stereotypes do is judge and label people because of their race.

Honors classes tend to have mostly white students because they have one another for support. On the other hand, there are always colored students who are left alone. Teachers may not realize this, but when a student feels like they don’t have a connection with the teacher like the other students do, they just give up.  That is how I felt, but I did not let that bring me down.

Colored people feel more comfortable with teachers from their race because they feel they can communicate. If this school had honors teachers from different races, more students would take honors and the diversity rate in those classes would increase.

My grades in that class showed my teacher that I did belong. After that incident, I still had to prove to future teachers that even though I’m a Muslim student, I can still take honors classes.

I hope that in the future, honors classes are more diverse and don’t leave anyone behind. A classroom is a classroom for a reason. It is not meant to be divided into cliques where certain people are excluded.

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The student news site of St. Louis Park High School
Unjust racial inequality exists in education