Diversity and inclusivity at WHS

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Tyre Nicholas was a 29-year old Black man that passed away due to police brutality. After being brought to emergency care, he failed to receive proper treatment and medication from two EMTs, which led to his death. As the controversy over the licenses of the EMTs being rescinded surfaces, once again another death of a person-of-color occurs. The death of Tyre Nicholas and many other innocent people of color raises the question yet again: what can we do?

Change can start here, right within our community, more specifically, at Washington High School. 

Phatima Kabia, a current senior and the Black Student Union President, shares her thoughts and experiences on inclusivity and diversity at Washington High School as a student of color. “Washington High, I think, is relatively inclusive for POC,” she says. “The efforts made towards inclusion are always appreciated but, because no school is perfect, there is always room for more growth in that aspect.” As Phatima mentions, Washington has made tremendous efforts regarding inclusivity despite the low enrollment of students of color, with less than 4% of Black students on campus. Besides the Black Student Union, Washington houses numerous other ethnic clubs and organizations for other cultural student unions, such as the Vietnamese Student Union, Filipino Student Union, and more. Although these clubs exist, as Phatima mentioned, there is always room for improvement, such as changes being implemented by not only students and student run organizations but from the faculty of Washington as well. 

Phatima highlights one of the biggest events Washington hosts every year that revolves around highlighting cultural diversity, the Multicultural Week and the Night Market, which is run by numerous ethnic groups to serve food and even drinks to anyone and everyone. 

However, is one week truly all we need to enlighten students about diversity and inclusivity at Washington High School? “Instead of taking a week to appreciate the diversity and plethora of different cultures found within our school, we can make it a more day-to-day thing!” suggests Phatima. “I would like to see more emphasis being put on all backgrounds of students on campus.” Just as Phatima states, awareness of different cultures can be something we take the time to appreciate everyday at school. 

As for Phatima’s personal experience at Washington High School, she says, “Because the school does have a very low black population (less than 4%) it is not uncommon for there to be a few instances of unwelcoming individuals in our student body. In my personal experience with most of my peers and teachers, I do feel very accepted!” Considering Phatima’s words a relevant question may be raised regarding our enrollment statistics and percentage: Is the enrollment of students of color controllable and something we can fix? Whatever changes these may be, perhaps as a community we can work together to integrate our community.

Born and raised in the Bay, Rachelle Lee is a first year writer for the Hatchet! Rachelle will cover topics regarding sports, campus life, and other issues that are occurring around not only campus, but the world! Rachelle is a senior at Washington High school and has been attending Washington all 4 years. She is an active member of the WHS Cheerleading Team and is also the Co-President of her club, Future of Our Generation! Rachelle is a proud owner of a mom car and a Dachshund. Undecided on her major, Rachelle hopes to attend a 4-year university after graduating.

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