Opinions Differ in Sparking Conversation About Race in Schools

Allison Acosta, Reporter

“Do you think your local public school system is focusing too much or too little on racism in the U.S., or is the focus about right?”

A recent poll was done by The University of Chicago about how Americans think public schools handle current issues such as racism, and the results are split. Divisions were clear on this question as 37% of Americans said about right, 34% said there was too little focus, and 27% said there was too much. This split is echoed in other polling too, including parent surveys.

Two voices are often vocalized in this argument. One side pushes for schools to expose children to this conversation. On page two of this poll, respondents were asked ‘‘How much should public schools teach about racial inequality?’’ 34% of people believed public schools should teach ‘’a lot’’ about racial inequality. On the other side of the argument, there is fear about the Critical Race Theory. Over 70% of people have heard of the CRT and some fear it could ‘single out’ white students.

Opinions around America seem to be split when it comes to this topic, answers seem to also be split here in Hershey High School.  Their names have been withheld to allow our sources to be as honest as possible.

One student said, “I think it’s important to talk about since there isn’t really a big minority community here in hershey but, I think it could be talked about in community period instead of taking up class time.” Another student agreed and said,  “I think it would be beneficial to everyone.”

An opposing opinion said, “I feel like we shouldn’t start a conversation about race in highschool because it could make some people uncomfortable. Plus we’re all grown now and I think that topic should be discussed in earlier years of school.”

Race has been a big debating point for many schools. From pulling or promoting books about race, starting conversations, to surveying students on what they think, schools have treaded lightly.

Despite what schools and parents think, it’s important to take into consideration what students conceive of this as well.