ILLUSTRATION BY MYTAM LE

Integrate more ethnic studies into education

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California is now one of the most diverse states in the U.S. However, its high schools continue to lack ethnic studies, the study of different ethnicities, races, and nationalities. Thus, public high schools need to implement ethnic studies, as it does not fully recognize the struggles that people of minorities have endured throughout history. 

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, only 8% of high school seniors in the U.S. can say that slavery was the cause of the Civil War. If students can barely understand the 400 years of slavery that the U.S. had, the educational system needs to be reformed with the addition of ethnic studies.  This can result in a more separated school community as they grow up. Without it a misunderstanding of people and their own narrative around them is created from a young age in school.

Many U.S. history textbooks lack true representation of the different ethnicities that live in the U.S. In addition, these races have their stories insultingly told for them and schools continue to do nothing about it. Furthermore, with little to no representation, ethnic children, from a young age, may see that they are in a country that they do not belong in. The confusion may soon stem into hate towards themselves and their ethnicity. They begin to lose pride and dignity in their own self-worth, which creates a person who is disappointed with who they are.

Although many disagree with pushing ethnic studies in high schools, as they find it promoting division and angst among different races and classes of people, ethnic studies does the opposite. As more people learn about the history of different ethnicities, they obtain a better view and understanding of a variety of backgrounds. This leads to a more understanding and unified community. 

The fight for ethnic studies continues, as more students and educators continue to push for the bill. Until California Governor Gavin Newsom passes the bill, it is important to educate oneself by listening to the stories of people of minorities and encouraging others to do so as well.

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