Op-Ed: Racial Discrimination in School

I’m tired of just “getting over it” or “dealing with it.”


Wake up to how much words hurt.

Caliyah Newsome, Staff Writer

As an African American, growing up and going to school in a predominantly white area has always been difficult. When I was little, making friends with other kids was never really a problem for me, but I did notice that I was the only black student among my classmates. Middle school was when I began to notice problems and it really took a toll on me mentally. During any black child’s most developmental years, going to school with other white kids is difficult. Let me explain to you why this is true. 

In my last year of middle school I heard countless white people using racial slurs in almost every conversation they had. There was even someone who used the “n word” specifically for the purpose of offending a black student. These slurs have continued during my time at East, to the point where it seems barely anyone feels it is wrong to use this hurtful word, or cares that using it bothers black students. The “n word” is not just a word–it has a history directly linked to racism. I and other students believe its use is blatantly disrespectful, even though I mostly choose not to speak of it because no one ever listens like I wish they would. 

The one thing that pushed me to write this article was an incident my little sister came to me about. She told me that she was being harassed for weeks about the color of her skin and being called racial slurs by one of her classmates. My heart instantly broke for her. She as well as other African-American students should not even have to worry about this. School should be a place we go to to learn and have fun. School should not be somewhere you dread going to every day out of fear that this type of harassment could happen to you.

Ever since I can remember the schools have preached about how it is wrong to bully and harass other students, but I genuinely don’t think that this important message gets through to students the way that it should. We have got to start being more open to students about how real this problem is. Racism is not fair; it’s disgusting, disappointing, and HURTFUL! My black classmates and I are absolutely tired of it. How can we be expected to continue to come to school and do our best work while dealing with this problem? I’m tired of just “getting over it” or “dealing with it.” Let’s make a change, because racism is intolerable; it demeans everyone, including white people who perpetuate it.