A high school student in the Bronx is asking the city to take steps to make the celebration of high school more inclusive, and has asked for help from New York City’s Department of Education.
A high school senior named Lauren said she was “thrilled” when she learned she would be graduating from the Bronx’s Wilson High School, a city school that has a history of diversity.
She is an African American student, and she was looking forward to attending a diverse school in the city, but she said the school is “in dire need of improvement” and has “many black students in it.”
The school has a “zero-tolerance” policy for bullying, and the school’s superintendent, Daniela Torres, said in an email that students are encouraged to seek counseling, attend classes with non-white students and make changes in their attendance.
She said the district “does not tolerate bullying of any kind” and that it would be in Lauren’s best interest to make changes at the school and “promote the positive work that is happening.”
The city has a diversity goal of 70 percent.
The city has pledged to make Wilson High one of its highest-performing high schools in the state by 2020.
The school has had a recent wave of diversity, with the enrollment of African Americans at the beginning of the school year.
But the district is “under a constant microscope for the lack of progress,” Torres wrote in the email.
“We are in the midst of a systemic, racially motivated attack on our students.
We are committed to helping Lauren achieve her dream of being an amazing high school graduate.”
We are committed.
We will be working with Lauren to make sure she is proud of herself and proud of her city.
Lauren said she hopes her letter to the school will be a “wake-up call to the administration to address the systemic racism and discrimination in their programs and policies that lead to her graduation.”