Drugs, violence, and racism are the reasons many students today are struggling to succeed. Below is a letter from one of our students addressing the very real fears that students are facing.
“A lot of people believe that students don’t want to be in school because of the academics, but in reality, it’s really the environment. I attend a local high school, and on a daily basis, there is always something happening whether it is a student bringing a gun to school, students trying to sell drugs, or a bad altercation between students and even sometimes teachers with students. I do believe that there are students that don’t want to go to school because of academics, but I think more students are scared to go, rather than not wanting to go because it’s hard.
School should be a safe environment where students feel safe to come every day and shouldn’t have to be afraid of what’s going to happen next. There should be no reason why students should be afraid to come to class or even to go to the bathroom because they don’t know what will happen.
There was one case where I had asked to use the restroom and a girl was in the bathroom trying to sell me tabs (tabs are thin pieces of paper with fentanyl in them). Just the other day a student got arrested for buying a gun in school. Why is it that students get away with bringing guns and hardcore drugs to school?
And it’s not even only the students. I have had encounters with many horrible teachers. During my freshman year, I had a teacher who was very racist. Any time we would mention it to admin, they would not do anything to change it. This teacher even had us separated by colors and she told us it was because she didn’t want the stupid kids sitting by her (all the Latinos and African Americans were on the side she was not on). One day I asked her to use the restroom and she said, “For what? So you can do whatever it is that your people do?” When I confronted her about it and told her she needs to watch what she says because one day she’s gonna talk to the wrong person the wrong way, she called admin and said I threatened her. When the admin came to get me and I told them what happened, they said there was nothing they could do about it and they sent me to in-school suspension. Even my classmates told them what happened.
I think that something needs to change whether it’s better admin, actually caring about who’s teaching at schools, or caring more about the students’ safety. But something has to be done!”