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Discrimination in schools: Race and social change

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Despite the 1954 ruling for desegregation following the landmark case of Brown v. the Board, American schools continue to be racially divided at alarmingly high rates. According to research conducted by the Civil Rights Project, levels of segregation for black and Latino students have been steadily increasing since the 1980's (Orfield & Lee, 2005). At my high school I was one of many racial minorities representing the bulk of the student body; our school was located in an underclass, poor area. Given this, it is fair to say that I and other students at Lanier High were discriminated against based not only on our race, but also due to our social class and place of residence. As a result of our segregated living conditions, we were forced to attend a school with substandard educational and environmental surroundings. Indeed, statistics maintain that more than 60% of black and Latino students attend high poverty schools, compared with a mere 18% of whites (Orfield & Lee, 2005).

High school represents some of the most formative years for the social and intellectual development of a young adult. Both the socialization and education of young people during this time are an integral part of the maturation process. My high school experience was no exception to the rule in this respect the events that took place during this time have had a large impact on who I am today. Furthermore, in hindsight, what stands out most for me are the consequences of discrimination I dealt with on a daily basis. Surprisingly, these consequences have had both positive and negative effects on my life.

[...] (1993). American apartheid: Segregation and the making of the underclass. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Orfield, G., & Lee, C. (2005). Why segregation matters: Poverty and educational inequality. The Civil Rights Project. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. [...]

[...] Civil rights activists have been exposing the injustices behind school segregation since the 1960's. Among the most detrimental of these is the substandard educational environment of schools attended by minorities. Teachers in low-income school districts are often under qualified and forced to teach subjects outside of their field (Orfield & Lee, 2005). As school funding is generated from local property tax, these schools often have less funds for high-tech teaching aids, such as overhead projectors and computers. During all four years of my high school career, both students and faculty were forced to comply with strict printing regulations due to decreased funds for paper. [...]

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