School needs to promote cultural awareness

Kendra Brown, Managing Editor

Looking around a classroom or cafeteria can reveal the diversity in the school. There is a wide range of races and ethnicities within the school, such as African American, Hispanic, Caucasian, Guyanese, Filipino and many more that are hardly ever talked about. These cultures should be emphasized more in the school.

February is known as Black History Month and March is Women’s History Month. However, the school does not teach or celebrate Black History Month, Women’s History Month or other culture-based months nearly enough.

Teachers often focus on the failures and struggles of diverse cultures. Instead, teachers should teach more about the triumphs and great achievements of different backgrounds.

In the 2016 Atlantic Magazine article “Black History Month in Schools-Retire or Reboot?Melinda D. Anderson writes, “The problem does not lie in specialized months for celebrations of groups and communities but within schools that have failed to incorporate the knowledge as their mission.”

Schools that acknowledge the diversity of their students should understand the importance of promoting cultural awareness. Teachers can just look across their classroom to see many different faces with different stories and backgrounds.

It is important to understand the many traditions and beliefs each student has. It’s important to communicate and learn about each other so that we all have a better understanding of one another.

The resolution to this issue is for schools to celebrate and honor the knowledge of these cultures. It’s great to hear Director of Grants and Special Programs Joseph Timpanaro feature African American history and culture-based trivia questions during morning announcements. School mentor Clarence Collins also speaks from time to time on community events based on African American history and women’s history. But more needs to be done. It’s important to incorporate all cultures so that students and even teachers can learn more about them.

Schools have the responsibility to promote knowledge of and respect for diverse cultures to students. This information could help not just students but teachers and staff develop a better sense of who people are as individuals. It also helps to realize that each culture may tell a different story, but in the end we are all one and should be treated as one because we all fought to get where we are today.

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