The student news site of Brookline High School

How comfortable do students feel talking about race in world language classes

May 31, 2017

The Sagamore compiled data from a Facebook and Canvas survey of 185 students. The survey included a ranking of students’ comforts levels in each academic subject.

*For the purposes of these graphics, West Asian, South Asian, Southwest Asian, Southeast Asian, Central Asian and Northwest Asian were compiled into ‘Asian or Asian American.’

 

Astrid Allen, world language teacher

“When we go to assemblies and we hear students who are dying to talk more about race in the classroom I want to raise my hand and say ‘We are doing it in Spanish. Please come take Spanish, because if you want to hear about Black history in Spanish class I have it. If you want to hear about indigenous people I have it. If you want to hear about immigration please come to Spanish class. If you want to hear about what it mean to be Hispanic in America please come over.'”

 

Ben Haber, sophomore

“My personal friend group is pretty diverse. In terms of overall structure, there is a pattern of people forming friend groups by race, so that’s a structural problem which won’t be fixed in the next year or two, but it can be if socioeconomic statuses are evened out. It all comes back to institutions limiting certain people on how they can progress.”

 

Carina Feeney, senior

“A lot of the time it is really unintentional, people don’t mean to be hurtful, but sometimes they are politically incorrect and I think it’s important to be aware of what effect it is to not be politically correct for some people because I know if someone says something to me that not politically correct I can get really offended, but it’s also hard to assume that everyone knows what right and wrong.”

 

Pedro Mendez, world language teacher

“If we keep the race discussions on only the special days we are not going to make enough progress. We need to talk about race every time we have the opportunity.”

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