Cultural racism is discrimination against minority groups that creates challenges. Students of color have been affected by cultural racism by not having access to higher education and experiencing higher chances of exclusionary discipline. Therefore, teachers and administrators should hire a variety of teachers from diverse backgrounds, apply anti-racism practices to make students of color more welcome, and build a connection between families and the school community.

Students from oppressed cultures are more likely to be suspended or expelled, which often leads to an impact on the student’s academic performance. A solution for this would be to apply an anti-racist approach to education so that students of color feel included in learning about their history. Among black students, those “subject to exclusionary discipline” (also known as suspension) during the last years of their academic career have lower grades than students who did not experience excessive discipline and have a better chance at succeeding.

What was also found was the relationship between suspensions and grades. Teens of color who received more punishments in school are more likely to be learning in a problematic school environment. Black students are more likely to be given suspensions than their white counterparts, and those punishments can gravely impact their academic progress. Giving out harsh discipline to students of color is not the answer. The schools should at least try to give everyone an opportunity to reflect on their behavior instead of giving them punishments that could ruin their chances of succeeding.

This topic matters to me because people of color shouldn’t have to live in a world where they’re discriminated against for their culture or for who they are. Cultural racism reflects and creates barriers in education when it harms the quality of students’ education. A solution for this could be to hire more staff (counselors, teachers, nurses). By hiring more staff and professional experts, schools can have a chance to improve the way they handle diversity and not let students of color be afraid of discrimination at school. Since the problem with cultural racism has begun to cause an uproar, schools have decided to add courses where students of color can learn about the history of their culture and how it matters to them to be recognized and accepted. Moreover, adding a class on the history of oppressed culture will provide a significant boost in students’ academic success by enabling them to identify oppressive or discriminatory actions from staff.

Some may argue that less diverse schools can still perform as well as culturally diverse schools. What they fail to consider is that, as the Century Foundation notes, “Sixty-two years ago, Brown v. Board of Education held that separate schools for black and white students are inherently unequal. Fifty years ago, the evidence in the congressionally authorized Coleman Report put a twist on Brown, suggesting that socioeconomic school integration could increase academic achievement more than any other school strategy.” Non-diverse schools offer fewer opportunities and hurt not only minorities but the majority population who won’t know how to interact with diverse cultures. According to Global Crimson Academy, “Researchers have documented that students’ exposure to other students who are different from themselves and the novel ideas and challenges that such exposure leads to improved cognitive skills, including critical thinking and problem solving.” Diversity can help shape less diverse schools and offer opportunities for students of color with less access to education and help them achieve a chance for higher education when they become adults.

It should be clear that cultural racism should be handled differently within the school community because students of color shouldn’t have to fear discrimination based on their culture. That’s why the culture of every student should be reflected on and represented in schools, so that students can do better in accepting new cultures and backgrounds. That way, students’ minds will be better prepared for school and beyond, to be culturally responsive and responsible citizens.

Written By:

Brayan Cruz Moreno

Grade 10

Capital City HS PCS