Camas Features School What You Should Know

Op-Ed: Dealing with Racism

The “we all have a story posters” in the hallway. Courtesy. Madrienne Anderson

While Camas High School isn’t known for students being racist like some other schools may be, racism still occurs more than it should. “It shouldn’t matter if racism happens more or less than other schools, racism is something that shouldn’t happen regardless,” Jeff Macke, a world history teacher at CHS, states.

Over the past few years, students have stood up to prevent any discrimination towards other students. “I notice some students will speak up or help or make flyers to spread awareness,” Natalie Johnson, a junior at CHS, explains. As Johnson mentioned, students around the school have started to create some sort of prevention, such as posters (“We all have a story” is one example), or if any student sees any sort of discrimination, whether it’s directed towards them or another student, they’ll speak up to let the oppressor know that what they’re doing isn’t right.

A few weeks ago, during an activity in the upper gym, there were some derogatory comments written on the floor. Before teachers had a chance to clean up the discriminatory words, students had already cleaned it up with whatever they had on hand. It was stated that someone had written it there during an assembly in sharpie. “I thought [what students had done to fix it] was pretty noble, and by the time I got to it, it was smeared and messed up,” Katie Seidl, an English teacher at CHS, shared.

While those students in Seidl’s story had a chance to stand up for a good cause, others usually don’t. At times students will feel oppressed and scared to share their opinion to Camas High School or any school for that matter. On the other hand, some students are aware of racism occurring right in front of their faces, but they tend to think that it’s a joke of some sort since it was directed towards a friend. “Probably, I think [racist comments are] meant to be jokes. But you never know if they’re being honest or not,” Jered Tonrow, a senior at CHS, explains when asked if he’s noticed racism portrayed at this school.

Camas High School generally isn’t known to be a racist school, but when a bunch of students are placed together in one area, it’s uncommon for there not to be some sort of racism or other discrimination. Thankfully, what CHS is known for are the students and staff members who go out of their way to try to make a change at this school.

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