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School Integration

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Essay title: School Integration

School integration shouldn’t be a big deal, but to most people it is. Judging other people and not wanting to cooperate with different groups is just human nature. Why does it even matter? People should learn to set differences aside. For school integration to happen people had to leave their comfort zones which isn’t an easy task. There are norms and routines that people follow, and to get away from those norms is not something people want to do. What people must realize is that breaking the custom is what must be done to improve the standard of living. It all boils back down to school integration. Back in the fifties, when the problem of school integration was arising, people didn’t want to go along with it. Segregation was the norm that most people did not want to deviate from. In order to solve problems everybody must wake up and realize that when faced with adversity we must come together and change for good.

In 1954, the Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education “required the desegregation of schools across America” [Cozzens]. The decision was a big step towards racial equality. Black students no longer had to feel inferior to white students because they couldn’t attend the same school. No longer did black students have to take a long walk past a white school to get to their black school. Unfortunately, school integration does not solve the problem of racism. The government can desegregate schools but it cannot force people to be friends with people they do not want to be friends with. That’s why we usually see black students sitting with their fellow black students and white students sitting with other white students, in the cafeteria or wherever. In Freedom Writers, students of different races were in the same school but they did not necessarily want to be. They were forced to be together due to school integration. The students argued about who was there first and did not want anything to do with students of another race. One upside of school integration is it does give students of different backgrounds the opportunity to work together, learn from each other and get along. By putting students of different ethnicities together school integration prepares students for the real world. After school, when students go on to their careers they are going to have to work with people of many different races. They may not want to work together but there are certain situations can bring them together. Once again, the opportunity to come together is only possible through school integration. Without the integration of schools, it’s just going to be blacks versus whites. Not to mention all of the other races. In Freedom Writers, Ms. Gruwell, an English teacher of a racially divided class, helped the students learn that they were not so different. In class she made a line on the floor. She asked students to step up to the line when something she said applied to them. Most of the students stepped up to the line when asked if they had lost any friends due to gang violence. In doing this, the students realized that they were not so different after all. The class made a “toast to change.” They realized that all the fighting was pointless and their want to change brought them together. Adversity is good for bringing people together. Had there not been school integration, the students of different races would not have been in the same class. There would not have been an opportunity for the students to learn that they are not much different from each other. Only through school integration did they have the opportunity to learn to respect one another and become friends rather than enemies. Race can be set aside as long as people realize that they have the same goal and that they must work together. That one goal needs to be forgetting about race. Integration is better than no integration because even though black kids and white kids may not want to be together they might discover that they have some things in common and they could become friends. Having no school integration means they never have that chance.

However, some policies that come with school integration are a burden to a lot of people. “Black, Latino and white parents in Lynn, Massachusetts, are waiting for an appeals court to rule on their challenge to another integration policy, which stops students from switching schools when it intensifies segregation.” Black parents in Nashville, Tennessee who hope to get rid of long bus rides and have better schools closer to home have agreed to do away with “longstanding legal victories” that force school integration. At Central High School in Louisville, Kentucky there were a

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