Racism in School and How Students Feel

Mya Roberts, Reporter

Sophomore Kirubel Solloman went to the public informing them of 5 months of racial harassment he endured in his jewelry and metals class. Solloman believes the punishment the boys responsible received was not as harsh as it should have been considering what they had done.

“I find they care more about people harming themselves like vaping and things like that more than when people are providing hate and ignorance [in] our environment,” Solloman said.

If given the chance, Solloman would change the duration of the punishment received, explaining that he doesn’t feel the original punishment reflects what they did.

“I feel like it’s just a short vacation because it’s the end of the year,” Solloman said. “I really doubt that they care that much, especially because it’s outside of school.”

Solloman also believes that the situation as a whole could have been handled in a better way, saying that thehead admin could have done more.

“He didn’t bother making [an] email to the parents and the students until way after I went to the media and after it became like a blown-up thing,” Solloman said. 

When asking other students whether they had experienced racism during their time at South, junior Rebeca Ibarra explains that she has..

Unfortunately, I have experienced racism at South, although when I did, I wasn’t surprised because of the numerous things I hear during the school day,” Ibarra said.

When explaining what happened when she brought a situation up with her teacher, she was disappointed when they brushed it off to the side.

“I felt more hurt because of my instructor passing it as a simple occurrence than the racist words directed at my ethnicity themselves,” Ibarra said. “The teacher just told me it was unfortunate that it had happened to me and that it’s a regular event at our school.”

Junior Mary Jane Rebollar explains how she has also experienced some sort of racism at school that had been lied about and pushed to the side.

I felt annoyed because it took them so long just for them to tell me they couldn’t say anything about the situation, and then lie saying they had talked to my friend about it,” Rebollar said.

Resulting in what arose when Kirubel came forward, and these students weren’t surprised at the punishment and what came from it.

“Nearly all my friends have undergone racism. It’s a frequent discussion that comes up multiple times a week,” Ibarra said.

Ibarra goes on to explain that she and her friends have lost hope in things getting done about the racism happening around them.

“My friends will examine what happened and the outcome, and never out of all the moments has something come out of it,” Ibarra said. “We’ve lost hope in defending ourselves because of the pressure between classmates thinking wrong about one and being deemed a snitch.”

Solloman explains that this situation is more than just what happened to him, it’s about every student of color who has experienced some kind of harassment because of the color of their skin.

“I mean, I feel like it’s less of an insult towards me and more of an insult towards every person of color,” Solloman said. “That word doesn’t represent me or anyone else.”