What gives people the right to say that most Black-Americans, Mexican-Americans, and Hispanic-Americans won’t make it out of high school due to their upbringing ? Growing up being Black and Mexican, and living poorly, I would hear many white adults already “thinking” or “knowing” my fate in school.
It was an early typical day in fourth grade sitting in my desk. My teacher started the day with science. We were talking about topics for a traditional science project. I excitedly raised my hand! But she didn’t pick me to share my idea. She chose the white girl sitting next to me to share her idea. After lunch we moved to social studies, learning about states. She asked the class what is the name of the capital in Texas. I raised my hand again! But she didn’t call on me, she called on one of my white classmates at the back of the class. I continued to still smile, but I asked myself is this normal? For my teachers to pick white students as their “favorites” ? Or was it just me ?
In fourth and fifth grade it became a reality. I would raise my hand to answer a question or participate in class my teachers wouldn’t call on me, but always on my white classmates. I gave in. I said to myself, “if they don’t care why should I ?”.
Middle School came, and a new Calisto was born. My science teacher, Coach Pohel, said to my class one day,”The biggest way to say fuck you to me, is to succeed.”. From then on- I was always on A-B honor roll, but that wasn’t enough. I still felt I wasn’t treated fairly.
According to Joy Resmovits, Senior Education Reporter for the Huffington Post, addressing discriminations for not only students of color, but students of disabilities is important. Joy Resmovits mentions,”Black students were 1.78 times as likely to be suspended out of school as white students, Latino students’ suspension rates are 2.23 times greater than those of white students”, according to school suspension rates of 2009-2010. These statistics are alarming. We need to stop dragging our feet when it comes to helping our minority students, by individually letting students know they are important.
Teachers may be blind to the ethnicity or the background of their students, but to some kids it matters. Be able to educate yourself personally, and add it to help you professionally. Observe how minorities act due to their home life. Don’t look at who is failing. Look at those who are neglected and push them. It doesn’t matter about test scores. What matters is their destiny.
According to the Wall Street Editorial Page, institutional racism no longer exists in this country. But it does. Black students receive at least one home school suspension each school year, as mentioned in the Huffington Post. Don’t be afraid to personally help your students in class with a racial barrier. Give them a chance to succeed in class, and in life. Next time, look at your student’s skin, and ask yourself, can I make a difference in his or her culture? Or will they be another statistic in society? Don’t be afraid to personally help your students in class with a racial barrier. Give them a chance to succeed in class, and in life.