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On Wednesday, Berkeley High School recalled its yearbooks after a comment on one of the pages sparked controversy. The page provided information on one of the small schools encompassed in Berkeley High, called the Academy of Medicine and Public Service, or AMPS. Apparently, the yearbook was edited anonymously prior to printing, and the spelling of names, pictures, and information was changed. One change in the first sentence of the AMPS yearbook page referred to the students in AMPS as, among other professions, “future garbage collectors”. Although Berkeley High is 60% non-white, AMPS students are 90% students of color. As a result, many students and faculty saw the yearbook comment as racist and discriminatory.
Although this issue only recently occurred, and further information may still surface surrounding the event, this controversy still brings to light the issue of discrimination in schools. In my opinion, discrimination in school creates a hostile environment, which leads to segregation and unequal access, all of which contribute to the achievement gap between students of different races.
Why is it important to have conversations about discrimination inside of school?
What other instances of discrimination have you witnessed or experienced in school?
Have you noticed any segregation in school, either by rules or by culture?
Do you think it is important to minimize discrimination, and specifically segregation, inside of schools?
In what ways do you think that the teachers and administration could better address discrimination in schools?