Dear Next President,
I write to inform you of a serious topic, for I would not wish to waste your time with anything of less importance. Racism in schools is an issue that has occurred for countless years. Not all students, whether they are rich, poor, black, or white, are being treated equally. This is unfair and needs to be dealt with. I wanted to write to you about a topic I am passionate about and one that needs to be addressed for the better of our communities.
Studies have proven that teachers treat children differently based on their color. A 2016 Newsela article, “Do teachers treat children differently based on their color? Study says yes” states, “Research shows that black students are nearly four times as likely to be suspended as white students. In addition, they are almost twice as likely to be expelled, or removed from schools.” I find it hard to believe that these suspensions and expulsions were not biased. These teachers and administrators might have been raised in a family or environment where they were taught that these other races were “bad” or different. They were taught to treat these people differently because they weren’t like them. I am lucky enough to grow up in a family that is accepting and will treat everyone equally. I wish that everyone was accepting and treated others fairly, but sadly things are more complicated than that.
Although we are past the point of separate schools for blacks and whites, students still attend segregated schools. According to a 2014 ProPublica news investigation, “In 1972, just 25 percent of black students in the South attended the most segregated schools.” A recent article found on The Atlantic, The Concentration of Poverty in American Schools, states that, “In about half of the largest 100 cities, most African American and Latino students attend schools where at least 75 percent of all students qualify as poor or low-income under federal guidelines.” Students of color are being treated like they don’t belong. One girl from Africa even agrees. An eight-year-old black girl in South Africa recently told Ted Koppel on Nightline, “White people are better than black people. Whites know more, have more, and get more. I wish I was white but I am not.” It is devastating knowing that young girls and boys feel that they should be treated differently and that the way they are treated is right.
Not all, but some students and teachers in public schools think that black students should be treated differently.They think that the students of color don’t deserve a proper education like the rest of their white and wealthy peers. These kids were raised and brought up to think these things, to think that they are better than the black children and that they deserve better opportunities than those of color.
I want to see what can be done about this. I want my children to grow up in a world different from the one we live in now. I want you to create a world where everyone is accepted. I understand that you can’t change the minds or opinions of everyone, but maybe just changing the minds of a few through speeches or doing something to raise awareness about the issue could make a huge impact.
Dana M., Pennsylvania