New graduation requirement brings about controversy

Following the events of the Black Lives Matter movement, legal scholars have proposed a new graduation requirement: a course in critical race theory. 

Critical Race Theory is a class where students learn about racism and how it is embedded in modern society, including government policies. As more people become aware of the horrors of police brutality and other forms of institutional racism, they anticipate tangible change in the future. This course teaches how laws may be biased against minorities due to implicit bias from white lawmakers. 

Those in opposition to this concept argue that it pits minorities against White people, creating unnecessary division. But in reality, Critical Race Theory creates a unified front consisting of all communities to help combat racism in American society. 

In fact, the bridge of knowledge that this course constructs will improve social justice issues, because students who are knowledgeable about the problems in the system will be better equipped to fix them in the future. 

Students taking this course are provided with a deeper understanding of the inherent White privilege in American society primarily through acknowledging how certain laws need to be reconsidered in order to better support minorities. One such example of how critical race theory affects government entities is seen in public schools. Passed in 1983, the District of Choice policy was, and still is, a controversial act that allows students to choose which school district to attend, regardless of their initial assignment.

While the intent of the policy was to allow students the freedom to attend their preferred school, it ended up extracting funds from already underprivileged school districts. This is because schools are funded by the number of students in attendance, so when less students go to a school, their funding decreases, causing them to become under-resourced. Oftentimes, minorities get stuck in these classroom environments, and have fewer opportunities to further their education compared to students in schools with sufficient, or even excessive, funding. High school students are the future of the American government and its politics. Therefore, in order to prevent this mistake, or any similar ones from occurring again, schools must educate them on the effects of racial disparities. 

Another benefit of adding this course is that it increases awareness in peer interactions. This is significant considering students of all racial backgrounds are blended together in a classroom environment, which may consequently lead to some uncertainty regarding what comments are acceptable and what aren’t. 

For example, those who haven’t been taught otherwise, may misuse hurtful words with comedic intent. Critical race theory will teach these students the origins of slurs and otherwise damaging phrases, so they can better understand the reason they shouldn’t be said, creating a more comfortable classroom environment for all students. 

In addition, Critical Race Theory teaches the importance of supporting minority students. These groups often face economic hardships, which necessitate extra accommodations in order to create an equitable classroom. If privileged students knew about these struggles, they would probably be kinder and extend less judgement toward their peers. 

Overall, Critical Race Theory would be a helpful addition to the high school curriculum. Minorities and non-minorities alike can benefit from this program, and help bridge the racial gaps that exist in educational spaces to create a more inviting and safe atmosphere.