We need to shine a light on minority groups

The need to include diverse content in classrooms

Eliza Noblejas, Opinion Copy Editor

As anti-semitic acts and negative behavior towards minority groups increase at BVH, it is crucial for minority groups to be represented inside the classroom. By including diverse content, it allows students to feel more comfortable and included. (Brandon Giles)

Students, staff and teachers come to Bonita Vista High (BVH) every day because they feel safe. Though recently, there have been growing concerns surrounding anti-semitic vandalism and homophobic remarks reported by the Crusader. It has been a recurring issue for minority groups on our campus to feel safe when knowing there are risks of becoming the next hate crime target. Ultimately, it is essential that students have the resources to gain knowledge about people who come from different backgrounds apart from their own. Overall, it is time to stop neglecting this irrational behavior and instead, make BVH recognize that there needs to be more diverse content in classrooms so BVH can shine a light on the ones who are underrepresented. 

When minority groups—LGBTQ+, Jewish communities, Asian Americans, etc.—are represented in classrooms, they feel more comfortable with the environment they are in, whether that be in a public or academic setting. This is because when students are able to see themselves represented, it allows them to identify themselves and feel a sense of belonging. Representation is important as it can broaden students’ perspectives by accustoming students and faculty alike to different cultures and minority groups.

Education Week, published the article, “Violence, Hate Crimes in Schools Surged in Pre-COVID Period, Federal Watchdog Finds” which finds that, “Hate crimes, in particular, which frequently involve students targeted based on their race, national origin, or sexual orientation, increased by an estimated 81 percent in K-12 public schools between the 2015-16 and 2017-18 school years.” 

If BVH students were given proper lessons about different ethnic groups, they would be given the opportunity to gain new insight, in turn lessening student biases against certain groups. Additionally, if BVH were to further incorporate the topics of diversity in lessons, this could spark meaningful discussions on different cultures and expand students’ perspectives and change the way they think about different cultures. 

Furthermore, adding more ethnic variety to students’ content curriculum can lead to an improvement in students’ critical thinking and cognitive skills. When students are given the opportunity to learn new information about cultural backgrounds, this gives students the chance to formulate their own opinions about the facts given to them.

School of Education, an online program, published an article “The Benefits of Inclusion and Diversity in the Classroom”, stating, “By presenting students with viewpoints far different from their own, it gives them the opportunity to think critically about their own beliefs and examine the world in fresh ways.” 

If the opportunity were to present itself, BVH would have the chance to add more variation to teachers’ curriculum. The outcome would be positive for both students and teachers.”

— Eliza Noblejas

When teachers have the ability to educate their students about different forms of cultures, this can give teachers a sense of excitement and create new bonds. 

“The importance of diversity & cultural awareness in the classroom” from the Drexel University School of Education finds that, “If students feel appreciated by and comfortable with the teacher, there’s a better chance they’ll feel comfortable talking with and respect their peers in the class.” 

Including diverse content inside classrooms allows teachers to have the ability to form new relationships with their students and be able to connect them to their respective cultures. This will result in classroom inclusivity and have more students feel like they belong in the environment they are in. 

Walden University states, “Culture is a lot more than a list of holidays or food preferences or the language someone speaks. Culture is the framework around which we build our identity. It influences how we engage with the world, the perspectives we take, and the expectations we have. Every one of us has a culture, and most of us have identities built from multiple cultures.”

Ultimately, BVH should not be a place where students feel afraid to be at, but a place where they can all embrace their own differences. Overall, in order for BVH to combat the hate that is targeting BVH’s minority communities, it is crucial that the diversification of content is prioritized in the school’s curriculum, rather than being neglected negative behavior.