Yes, we want diversity! But in order for us to see it we must experience it. Everyday someone is a the new student at a school, no matter how different they may seem to be they are all feeling the same things, how will these kids treat me? Will I be accepted? Will they respect my differences? Sadly most of the time the answer will be no, students especially at young ages are not sensitive to cultural differences, whether this has to do with parental involvement or just for lack of understanding most students will be picked on for being different. If we look at the profile of a student named Jimmy Tribo we can get an idea of just how different life can become when changing schools.
Jimmy Tribo is a 13-year-old white American boy; his parent’s work very hard for him and his brother to have the “life” that they never had as kids. They instill values and morals for their kids to follow as well as the importance of education; with it they will be able to go far. But to their disappointment things have not gone to plan and Jimmy’s father has been laid off, and they are forced to sell their house and move. Coming from a predominantly white community Jimmy was never exposed to the life of a minority. His new home and school district are in a predominantly African American and Spanish American communities, this is now making Jimmy and his family the minority. On Jimmy’s first day of school he was brought to the office by one of the security guards, who were claiming that Jimmy had been fighting a group of students. In reality Jimmy had been asking a group of students where he could find one of the classrooms, the students had called him a “white boy” and told him to go back to his prep school where he belongs, at this one of the students pushed Jimmy and another had punched him. Jimmy had never been placed in this type of situation before so he fought back. When telling conveying this to the principle he was called a liar many times, where he eventually gave up and just accepted his punishment. From that moment on Jimmy was never the same student again, he stopped trying in school, didn’t go out for sports, and eventually by age 17 dropped out of school.
Jimmy’s whole life was altered, not by this move but by his experience he faced when diversity was non-existent. With the help of all educators we can create a world that promotes equality and understanding across all communities!