Students Walkout in Protest of Prestigious School Because it's 50% White
New York City's Beacon High School pupils walk out of class
Students from one of New York City's most prestigious public high schools have staged a mass walkout to push for 'more diversity' because the school is half white.
Around 300 students, Beacon High School, walked out of class in protest against the school’s stringent admissions standards, the New York Times reported.
The pupils claim that rigorous screening procedures have added to segregation in the school system.
“The abundance of privilege in our school is so universal that it usually goes unquestioned and unnoticed,” said Toby Paperno, a white student at the school.
Student chanted slogans such as “end Jim Crow” and “education is a right, not just for the rich and white" during the protest.
The school is known for its very selective admissions process, demanding high test scores, and requiring students to compile a portfolio of their middle school work.
The school received over 5,800 applications for just 360 seats last year.
But Students argue that the school has a systemic issue of discrimination in its system.
The school system is about 70% black and Hispanic.
Carmen Lopez Villamil, a Hispanic student at the school, said:
“Beacon is really important because if students within Beacon are saying that the system is not working, this means that even the ones who are benefiting are not having it, that this is not working for anyone."
Mayor Bill de Blasio has also pushed for more diversity in schools but has failed to implement any solid plan.
A panel commissioned by de Blasio suggested that New York refrain from opening more screened schools and exclude the majority of screening for middle schools.
A spokeswoman for the city’s Department of Education, Katie O’Hanlon said:
“Our schools are stronger when they reflect the diversity of our city, and we’re taking a look at our admissions processes."
Some parents have argued that students who work hard in middle school should have the ability to attend the best high schools in New York.
The protest was organized by the student group, 'Teens Take Charge,' which advocates for more racial diversity in schools.
Over the past few weeks, the group has also organized other demonstrations at public schools.