NEWS

Racism in Schools Must Become a Thing Of the Past

Racism in schools

The United States is well known for being a land of cultural diversity. It goes without saying that multiculturalism is already integrated into all modern cultures and enriches current times. But with it comes much hate, intolerance, and various stereotypes. Judging people based on the color of their skin seems like a story from a history book, but it actually persists as a sad reality. And it is present even at schools where no such hatred should be permitted.

In the US, cultures and races have been extensively mixing ever since the days of mass migrations to the New World. Today, Americans are a perfect puzzle, made from puzzle pieces originating from all over the world. But the colorful variety is not only metaphorical. There are five officially recognized racial categories in the States: White, Black or African American, Asian, Native American/Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, and persons of two or more races.And while diversity should be a means of enriching society and its development, long-standing, structural educational disparities that affect students of color have only gotten worse throughout the pandemic. While the US student body is becoming more diverse than ever, racial division and segregation in schools remain. Although combining different ethnicities and cultures presents a beautiful way of learning from others, racism in schools persists as one of the main educational problems.

Racism Can Harm Students of All Colors

Based on the color of students’ skin, there are, for example, often variations in the availability of internet access and the frequency of mental health issues. There is also a considerable achievement gap between peers of different races. All these are conditioned by various factors, such as home and neighborhood environments and school factors.

In addition, teachers themselves seem to be highlighting differences between students based on their race. This can be accredited to a number of factors, including bias and excessive attempts to be egalitarian, which even furthers the unjust differences between students.

Youth delinquent behaviors, health risk behaviors, lower social and adaptive functioning, and poor mental health (such as anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem) are all linked to experiences of racial discrimination. Since racism in schools affects academic achievement and educational attainment, it must be taken seriously and addressed accordingly.

Racism in Schools Must Become a Thing Of the Past

What Can Be Done to Fight Racial Bias?

Educators have a unique opportunity to combat racism through their work with students, and see this change spread throughout the rest of society. To address the problem, educators must first admit that there is an imbalance, both in the classroom and in society.

Biases may become even more prevalent because teaching often brings multitasking and working under time pressure. The best thing to overcome biases is to identify them and think about how they may mirror one’s behavior in the classroom. Teachers must ask themselves if they are incorrectly associating a student’s desire for attention or any other pronounced manner with their ethnicity and background.

Another solution to reduce disparities is to actively react to any bullying between students, especially bullying based on race. K-12 students are still in the developing phase and need to be taught what is and isn’t socially acceptable while also being made aware of the impact that cruel words can have. 

Learning about racism and its consequences is another way of conquering it in school. The additional celebration of multicultural history can introduce the importance of cultural mixing. Students of all colors and backgrounds must be educated in order to dispel prejudices and be taught that everyone is worthy of the same love and respect. So, racism in schools may also be fought by explaining various sides of history.

Racism in Schools Must Become a Thing Of the Past

All the while, learning about the many benefits of multicultural societies and teaching about the devastating events from history is very important. While it might seem like an eternity, these horrible segregations only date back a few decades, and the students must know about figures, such as Rosa Parks, who fought for equality when any kind of real racial justice still seemed like science fiction.

And Yet, Racism in Schools Is Still Very Much a Reality

Furthermore, implementing a zero-tolerance school policy is needed if the school has no such code of conduct. For the establishment of a secure, hate-free atmosphere, it is essential to have clear policies on zero-tolerance racial hostility, and systemic treatment of individuals on school grounds. A clear behavior management system should be in place to deal with any unwanted occurrences appropriately.Other tactics for combating racism include fostering transparency where students feel comfortable reporting instances of racial bullying and discrimination. The communication must be open and clear, creating an environment where students feel safe to confide in their teachers and other school workers.

Racism in Schools Must Become a Thing Of the Past

Another side of racial segregation is disproportionate levels of school suspensions, differentiating by race. They can be tackled by teachers forming better relationships with school behavioral consultants. An additional way of minimizing the differences, subsequent to racism in schools, is continually screening all students for giftedness instead of relying solely on previous referrals from teachers and parents.

SOURCES

[1] Understanding the initial educational impacts of COVID-19 on communities of color
[2] Inequality at school