The Harbinger Online

Disbanding Discrimination

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In light of the recent protests at the University of Missouri, following the use of racial slurs, concerns of racial discrimination are becoming more prominent throughout our nation. We sat watching it on the news, assuming that the unrest hadn’t spread to our hallways and lives. But discrimination and profiling aren’t as far away as we think. Just because we’ve only heard about it at colleges doesn’t mean it’s not at East too.

 

Day after day, former East student Brandon Cooper faced name calling by his peers. They may have thought calling him the n-word was funny, but Cooper soon began to dread walking in the doors of East each morning. Being known for his skin color, not his personality, made Cooper feel unsafe and undervalued at his own school. The bullying affected his education so much that he transferred to Miege.

 

The Harbinger believes that East should be more accepting of diversity, so that kids can focus on their education. Imagine if you were the one being discriminated against because of your skin color, and as a result you felt that you weren’t getting your full education. Imagine sitting alone at lunch, not learning how to build relationships with your peers because they assume stereotypes about you. School should be a haven, a place where people feel comfortable in their own skin and have the opportunity for an uninhibited education.

 

Yes, we have started a diversity board, but we still need work. Discrimination is still here, against people of all types. It’s not okay to ask mixed kids if they know their dad or if he’s in jail. Just because the teacher is talking about immigration doesn’t mean you turn around and stare at the Hispanic girl in the fourth row.

 

High school is a time to learn who you really are, but students can’t do that if they are being discriminated against.

 

Even though we have 86 percent white students at East, that shouldn’t mean you treat the other 14 percent students of color differently. When we leave this Johnson County bubble, it will be obvious how isolated we were from minorities. It is predicted by the U.S. Census Bureau that by 2043, the U.S will be a “majority minority.” This means that the majority of the population in the future will be people of color, and the minority will be white. We need to learn how to deal with minorities, so that we learn how to build relationships and be successful after high school.

 

The recent protests have taught us that discrimination isn’t something to joke about. Students shouldn’t fear coming to school and facing bullying from their peers every day. So let’s take a few steps to fix it. We need to work to be a united school where everyone feels accepted and has the same opportunities.

 

Even if you aren’t the one joking, you can still protect each other from people who assume stereotypes. We are all Lancers, so let’s start acting like it.

 

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