Racism in American Education
Even though we live in a democratic country free from prejudice, there are a lot of cases of racism expressed via pressure and violence. Racism in American schools is one of the most spread ways of expressing prejudice and dissatisfaction as children can be cruel, and the absence of an appropriate explanation is a reason for increased racial discrimination at school.
Racism has deep roots, as many African Americans who now live in the USA were slaves. Struggling for American independence, White Americans believed that they were going to be the masters of this land. However, the abolishment of slavery has brought another behavior in the USA, but not all people managed to understand it.
Parents impose their understanding of life on their children, and those, in their turn, show their discriminated opinion to African American students at school. The problem is that White Americans were sure that they were struggling for personal independence, and the slavery abolishment created additional difficulties in this issue as they believe (Rusmussen, & Salhani, 2010).
Before slavery, abolishment, African Americans did not have an opportunity to study with White Americans. Being Slaves, African-Americans were forbidden even to read not to have an opportunity to read newspapers and to know the latest news in the country and in the world. After the slavery abolishment, colored Americans were allowed to visit schools, but in most cases, these were separate schools.
The same was devoted to Native Americans who visited schools in their reservations. Time passed, and colored Americans began to visit schools where White Americans studied. The cases of discrimination and racism were numerous.
Brown v. Board of Education (1954) was considered as one of the best Supreme Court decisions of the 20th century, which referred to the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution.
One more policy which assisted US society to refuse from racial attitude to children was the No Child Left Behind Act (No Child Left behind Act of 2001, 2002). According to this act, each person could learn on the same grounds. The standardized tests were implemented at schools that made all students equal.
Now, the situation has changed. Students of different races visit the same schools, and the cases of racism have reduced. However, there are still the remnants of prejudiced attitudes in relation to students of other nations. National and school policies work on reducing this particular problem.
However, the problem exists. The history of racism in the USA has not ended, as many people believe. Of course, the country has made a huge step in coping with the problem, but it has not done everything to end this history in American schools.
Considering statistical information about racial discrimination at schools, the level of cases of racism has increased “of 40% or more over the period 2007/08 to 2009/10” (Talwar, 2012). The problem deserves attention in many schools around the country. Those who are racially prejudiced in many cases appear under pressure, either mental or even physical.
Being beaten all the time, African American students and students of other nationalities who also appear under racial discrimination may have severe injuries (Johnson-Ahorlu, 2012). Additionally, mental health suffers greatly.
There are several ways of dealing with this problem. The government has several policies and provides a number of actions, but teachers and parents know much better what happens at school. Therefore they are to be the initiators of the measures taken in order to prevent racial discrimination (Talwar, 2012).
Brown v. Board of Education. (1954). 347 U.S. 483.
Johnson-Ahorlu, R. N. (2012). The academic opportunity gap: How racism and stereotypes disrupt the education of African American undergraduates. Race, Ethnicity and Education, 15(5), 633-652.
No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. (2002). Public Law, 115 STAT. 1425.
Rusmussen, B., & Salhani, D. (2010). A Contemporary Kleinian Contribution to Understanding Racism. Social Service Review, 84(3), 491-513.
Talwar, D. (2012). . BBC News.
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