High School Struggles
No matter your position in life, there’s always a battle to be fought. Take for example high school. There’s a tension that exists amongst different groups; jocks vs. nerds, popular vs. eccentric, band vs. drama, it happens.
But, when race is brought in, it’s a whole other kind of tension, and one with much more drastic consequences should the conflict become physical. For example, consider a student body that numbers of 700+ where 48% are Latino and 44% are African-American. There becomes the possibility of a very large, disastrous fallout.
On Friday, September 21st, that is in fact what took place at Castlemont High School. Tensions amongst the black and the brown students boiled over and close to 50 were involved in the turmoil, with smaller fights breaking out.
Media's less than flattering portrayal of both these ethnic group serves to paint a very specific picture of an incident like the one at Castlemont. Given tensions and lack of resources in our communities, it’s not surprising that student groups segregate into racial gorups and develop an unfounded dislike towards on another. Being labeled as a minority does little to lessen resentment. Add to that the limited resources available in a community where so many are in need and you’ve got a battle to be the ‘dominant minority’ in the making.
With rumors of chained fences during school hours at some Bay Area schools, which is by the way a blatant disregard of fire hazards, it seems more like we’re preparing our children for a prison sentence than a higher education. Furthermore, let’s not forget to mention the inept security officials, the use of metal detectors in schools across the state and country, and heavy police presence too often do more harm than good.
The community must take an active role in the development of our youth-- and we have to start resourcing all of our schools so that they are safe, inspiring places for every student to learn. You can contribute to this cause with time, and of course money, but if both are sparse, you can always lend your voice by casting a vote come Election Day [Nov 6th] to make sure Prop 30 passes.
With Prop 30, we can replace some of that much needed funding for our schools, and make a better environment for our children. If Prop 30 fails to pass, another $6 billion dollars will be added to the already $20 billion in budget cuts we’ve suffered in the past 2 years alone. That means there stands to be another $963-million cost reduction looming over the California education system set to take effect as early as January 2013 if Prop 30 were to fail.
If the children are supposed to be our future, than lets go out there and make a better way for them today. How can we do that? By making sure our voices are heard by voting Yes on Prop 30.
Reisha Dyes is the civic engagement intern at the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights. She is currently a student of Merritt College majoring in English.
Jun 03, 2013
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May 29, 2013