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Bruce Danielson, Richfield
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At Hopkins, the start of a conversation
As a student of color at Hopkins High Schools, I agree with student protesters’ grievances (“Hopkins High pupils walk out,” April 27). Although many white students don’t feel that racial inequality is prevalent, it’s obvious that students of color feel differently.
Racism at Hopkins usually manifests itself indirectly in interactions between students of color and white students or staff members.
For example, many white students comment on how a certain class they’re taking is “ghetto,” a racially charged word usually implying a high number of black students in a class. Another example of racism is when teachers mistake one student for another.
Often I am mistaken for another Asian student who is also a senior even though we don’t look alike. We usually joke about it, yet both of these examples of racism demonstrate that other students and staff sometimes don’t view students of color as individuals, but rather part of a racial group.
For all students to feel equally treated, the topic of race must be openly discussed by students and staff alike. The administration has a significant responsibility in this goal, including adding curriculum that is more culturally diverse and equity training for staff, and promoting conversation about awareness and tolerance.
Students also have a responsibility to accept the challenges and possible discomforts of a race conversation, since we all will grow up in an increasingly diverse country.
Emma Charlesworth-Seiler, Golden Valley
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My two kids have been in Hopkins schools for a combined 26 child years. Friday’s walkout is why I believe in District 270 like I do. It is simply one of the best at turning out well-rounded students ready to face the unbelievable messiness of everyday life.
The district educates kids not to accept things that are unacceptable. Notice the photo that ran with the Star Tribune’s story about the walkout: There are kids of different ethnicities in that photo asking for change. I am so proud! This is what my uncle fought so hard to protect on crappy little islands in the South Pacific during World War II.
However, I do expect District 270 kids to consider all aspects of this issue of equality. For example, review the content of some of the most-downloaded songs on iTunes. Are you supporting artists who preach equality to women, gays and children?
Keep asking the hard questions, kids. But do as you have been taught and ask all of the questions. Especially the most difficult ones. You give me a lot of hope for my future. Go for it!
Paul Pasko, Minnetonka
The Opinion section is produced by the Editorial Department to foster discussion about key issues. The Editorial Board represents the institutional voice of the Star Tribune and operates independently of the newsroom.