Racism and Discrimination within Public Schools

Our students should be able to obtain an education in a safe environment no matter what color they are.

My High School January 21, 2008

From 2000-2003 I attended Raininer Beach High School in the Southern region of Seattle which is known to most Seattlites as the “South End”.  The South End of Seattle is filled with predominantly minority neighborhoods and schools.  The population in my highschool was predominantly African American and Latino, though there was a mix of other ethnicities as well.  It was said that within my graduating classes senior year, there were between 10 and 20 European American students (though I cannot say that this is fully true), and some of them claimed that they were discriminated against because they were white.  Though I never came across any incidences like those, I do not doubt that they ever occured.

            My high school was known for all of its star athletes.  From my high school many of the top athletes went pro, or went on to be number one in collegiate sports; those such as the Stewart Twins, Virginia Powell, and Nate Robinson.  We were recognized for our runners, jumpers basketball players and more, but outside of that, we were nothing.  We had some of the lowest test scores in the Seattle Public School district and we were known for having police patrol our hallways because of the violence that occured so often.  Many of our students were associated with gangs and drug dealing in some way or another.  In part, we were often discriminated against in the news papers and on the news because of our bad reputation, when in all actuality, there were a lot of good students at Rainier Beach.

         In my graduating class there were only 156 graduating seniors, though our class could have been much bigger.  I remember seeing those who were left behind at our graduation cheering on their friends and congratualting them, though it was apparent that they were sad to see them go.  My high school gave me positive and negatice experiences that I feel I could have never have gotten anywhere else.  There I felt more at home, I didn’t have people discriminating against me based on my race and that made my last 3 years of highschool much easier.

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