The biggest news as of late is undoubtedly the investigation into racial discrimination and harassment in the Davis County School District. Some students are shocked by the investigation, others are disappointed, but not surprised.
Some students may have even heard of the more severe instances of blatant racism at other schools, such as black football players at Layton being jeered with racial slurs on the field.
While these are issues everyone should be aware of, it’s also important to know if racial harassment is an issue at Davis High.
While this specific demographic was not mentioned in the investigation, the two Latino students who were asked whether they had seen or experienced any racial harassment or discrimination spoke of positive experiences at Davis.
“I’ve never felt any racial discrimination from teachers or staff ever,” says a senior female, “…Sometimes there are difficulties with other students.”
When asked whether he had seen a teacher ever say or do anything that might make minority students uncomfortable, a senior male responds, “I haven’t to be honest.”
As for Asian American students, a senior female had some interesting insights. “I’ve never seen discrimination, but I think there is a difference between what minorities are involved in and what the majority is involved in,” She says. “Especially in Davis High, there’s not a lot of diversity and socially when you talk to people they don’t understand what it’s like to be different… they can’t really relate… No one is being rude, but they don’t understand how much they don’t know about other groups.”
In addition, a woman named Grace Soelberg recently took to Instagram to talk about her experience as a mixed race child going to school in Davis County.
“Growing up in Davis County as a woman of color was incredibly challenging and often times demoralizing,” She writes in a post to the Stop Your Silence Instagram page. “I was bullied at every age for not being white and being adopted into a white family.”
She also mentions being called the n-word repeatedly in junior high, and received no aid when she reported it to the principal.
What do the experiences of these student’s prompt for change at Davis High?
Perhaps this investigation can inspire the school district to put more emphasis on teaching about the experiences of minorities. Maybe it’s time to read more about the experiences of black Americans, immigrants, and other minorities in English classes.
Soelberg suggested in her Instagram post that pushing the district to teach African American history at all ages is a step in the right direction.
The experiences of non-white students can teach the white majority at Davis High a lot about how other people live, and, in turn, increase empathy. Overall, this would lead to a kinder student body, and make Davis a more welcoming place for everyone.