Demitrius Schwartz, ’18
One of the most controversial topics in recent memory is the treatment of African Americans as well as other minorities in the United States of America. While always present, this issue has gained massive exposure in the media, where stories of police brutality, social injustice, and crimes driven by racism are all prominently displayed through television, movies, social media, and literature. It seems as if the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner are the first thing that comes to mind for most when they think of recent racial injustice in the United States. In the wake of these deaths and the proceeding trials, protests took place all over the county, and still continue.
Many students here at BHSEC have been heavily involved in the movement, beginning with the Walk-Out earlier in the school year. Since then, awareness of racial and social injustice has heightened all over the world, including at BHSEC. This has all culminated in the creation of a Teach-In. Freshman Jonathan Laraque Ho stated that this event will hopefully take place on March 18th, a day of no classes. Students and teachers will be educated on the movement and engage in discussions that may seem too taboo to speak of in a public setting. The goal of the Teach-In is to not only educate, but also unify BHSEC in the fight against racial inequality and injustice.
Some may ask why this is necessary when the issue already has so much exposure in the media. The prominence of organizations such as the Diversity Initiative and Black Students Alliance at BHSEC pose the answer. Despite the effort BHSEC makes to promote diversity and equality, this is a very real issue that affects people of all races and views. Without proper education on racial equality and justice, common stereotypes and discrimination can thrive. With this comes a divided student body and school culture, which is in opposition to BHSEC’s goal of higher learning for all.
The organizers of the Teach-In are attempting to address potential conflicts of interest. For an institution that prides itself on academics, despite the importance of education in this topic, scheduling conflicts will undoubtedly arise. As stated before, this event will take place during a special Community Day. The ideas of community and equality are closely related, and rather than a direct departure from this tradition, the Teach-In provides focus.
Overall, in a diverse community such as BHSEC, there must be understanding for it to function smoothly. This is the goal of the Teach-In, to bring our community together. There are bound to be disagreements, but freshman Elijah Johnson believes that “Disagreements can lead to healthy conversations and makes it easier to come to an understanding.” By devoting a single day to strengthening the BHSEC community, not only does our community benefit in the long run, but we can also solve confusion in the short term, thus building a strong foundation for future events.
If the Walk-Out was any indication, the Teach-In will be a well-organized and educational event. To learn more or to get involved, you can contact your Student Union representative.
Demitrius Schwartz, ’18