Do minority students feel left out of the educational system at DSA?
BY MORGAN ROYSTER
Feeling left out can lead to a decline in a person's self-confidence. Due to the lack of awareness about certain issues, students might be afraid to voice their opinions about unfair educational opportunities.
Some feel as if schools across the country operate in a biased way towards certain groups of people. Two minority students at DSA feel as if they have been excluded from certain educational opportunities and they are not alone. Some students are notified about standardized tests, scholarships, etc. while others are not. Ashley Lazaro and Amira Greene are two minority students who have not received certain information.
Ashley Lazaro is a junior at DSA. She comes from a Mexican background. Lazaro feels that non white students are constantly being forgotten. Like so many others, Lazaro was informed that junior year was the year of standardized tests. Most students take the SAT and ACT during their junior year. However, Lazaro started to question the people in authority. She wondered why she hadn’t been notified about the dates of certain tests and she started to not feel included in the education system in general. Lazaro thinks that DSA can improve on making sure that minorities feel accepted.
“They should talk about it more and spread more awareness for people to feel more included,” Lazaro stated.
Outside of class, Lazaro has a great social status with friends, but within class there is a lost connection between her and her teachers. There is an understanding that counselors and teachers tend to receive a lot of emails each day. Lazaro has reported that her counselors have taken a while to respond to past emails. Things can be ten times more stressful when a student reaches out for help and does not receive a response.
It’s not just being misinformed about educational opportunities, Lazaro says that she has also qualified for a higher level class and not been enrolled in that class.
“In 8th grade I was supposed to be in math one. I got a high enough score on the EOG, but they told me that there wasn't enough space for me to be in the class, and the only 3 people left out were just me and these two other girls who were also minorities,” Lazaro stated.
There is a broader perspective than just exclusion of testing information. There is a lack of diversity in higher level classes within DSA. The majority of AP classes appear to have a larger proportion of white students versus people of color. Minority students might fall victim to not being put in a certain class because of not being notified or because of space. Also, there is not much diversity within the school’s curriculum. A lot of history mainly focuses on European figures. The class Minority Studies was also once taken out of DSA. Some other schools offer different classes that focus on different ethnic backgrounds, so DSA should include a variety of different ethnic studies as well.
“No, I do not feel included as a minority when it comes to education,” Amira Greene, when asked if she felt included when it came to school, responded.
Amira Greene is a black student at DSA. She came to the school in ninth grade and is currently a junior.
PHOTO CREDIT: MORGAN ROYSTER
Lazaro stands in the breezeway at DSA after school. She is on her way to attending the Crossing The Divide club meeting.
Like Lazaro, Greene was also informed that junior year would be filled with testing.
Greene also agrees with Lazaro that there is room for improvement within the school. She sees a lack of bonding between minority students and counselors.
“There should be more one-on-one counseling sessions, trying to get a connection with minority students,” Greene said.
Greene feels as if she has had to venture out. Along with Lazaro, Greene stated that she did not receive the PSAT email that was sent out to certain students. The email states, “All Juniors are invited to sign up for the PSAT.” If ‘all juniors’ are invited to sign up, then what are some ways that the school can make sure that all students receive the emails. Both students not being emailed could have been a mistake, but there are steps that the school can take to make sure that all students of all races and ethnicities are getting the same information and opportunities in the future.
“Education is an opportunity for many kids, so when they work hard they should earn credit no matter their background, race, gender, etc.” Greene concluded.