Observations of Chapel Hill High: Part 2

For my EDUC 522 course we are required to plan a “school project.” This school project has no definitive direction, and can be either implemented or just planned on paper. I was initially having some difficulty when determining the direction I wanted to take for my project. However, today I had an epiphany. While walking the halls of Chapel Hill High I realized that the hallways were adorned with student painted pictures. However, none of these pictures embodied the culture or diversity of two very substantial groups of students. In the History and Humanities wing, the hallways were labeled as the American zone. This completely solidifies the notion that American values serve as the only focus. While I believe that painting pictures of historic American events or people serves a valid educational purpose, neglecting important ethnic groups perpetuates the marginalization of minorities. Where’s the pictures of important Cambodian figures? Or important events in South and Central America? This was disturbing to me. Not only are classes relatively homogenous, but the representation of the school through the art on the walls reflects that.

So, my project will include having students tackle another hallway in the school, and paint images that reflect their historical roots. Promoting diversity and having students educate themselves on the history of their peers is extremely important. Not only could this serve as a way to better unify the school and promote the upmost level of inclusivity, but it would also serve as a voice for students who may feel shadowed by the white middle class majority. In addition to including paintings, I think it’s also important for their to be foreign language elements present in the classroom/school. I don’t think teachers need to completely accommodate to the language gap by learning Cambodian or Spanish. However, I do think signs for the gym, parking lot, bathrooms, cafeteria, etc should be translated into other languages. Not only would this provide a tiny element of comfort for students, but parents might also feel more comfortable since they see the school is making an effort to be more inclusive.

SIDEBAR

Can someone please update me on this new trend that I’ve witnessed at Chapel Hill High!? Students are CONSTANTLY on their phone; texting, tweeting, instragraming, snapchatting, etc. Since when did this become acceptable? I wish I knew why Chapel Hill High was so lenient on their technology policies. When I was in High School certain websites were blocked for students. Sites such as youtube, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Netflix were essentially banned from the school ground. Teachers would confiscate student phones if they dared to text in class. I’m unsure if this new standard on technology is a product of teachers giving up enforcing rules, or if teachers think that times have changed and that it’s now acceptable. Another thing that shocked me was how students were dressing. Yes, it’s getting hot and humid outside, but I’ve never seen such revealing clothes worn in a high school. Edward Little High School, where I attended, was extremely strict on how students dressed. We weren’t allowed to wear tank tops with straps thinner than two inches, shorts had to be below finger tips, no spandex were allowed, and neither were leggings. However, at Chapel Hill High I see students in see through leggings, wearing spaghetti strap tank tops, and exposing their mid drifts and cleavage to an obnoxious degree. I’m not necessarily insulting the schools relaxed dress code, but I’m extremely surprised at their lackadaisical approach.

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