Cultural Diversity : West Lafayette High School Essay

Cultural Diversity : West Lafayette High School Essay

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School is often described as a mini society, a reflection of what is happening in the real world. While my school was certainly no exception, West Lafayette High School only allowed a view of the most fortunate students. Here attend the students of doctors, professors, lawyers, and state representatives. Although the school holds its cultural diversity in high esteem, nearly all students come from a similar socioeconomic background. West Lafayette is known for being home to an abundance of pretentious, nerdy, rich kids. If one were seeking an accurate picture of American society as a whole, West Lafayette High School would not be the place to look. One would find instead society’s image of an ideal high school, where students arrive prepared and, for the most part, willing to learn. The students are highly active in and readily able to afford extracurricular activities, perform astonishingly well on standardized tests, and consistently graduate at a near one hundred percent rate. Coming from a background of such economic and racial privilege has heavily influenced my outlook not only on the face of education, but on the workings of society as a whole.
Attending school as a part of the upper class was a pain free experience. I went to school well rested and well fed, my backpack filled with fresh school supplies and snacks. I assumed that everyone went to school this way, and based on my peers there was no reason to doubt that. All of my friends were just as fortunate as I was. Being so fortunate left no reason to do poorly in school. Intelligence was equated with social status amongst the students; the more honors and AP courses you could rack up, the more prestigious you would seem. Most if not all of the students o...


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...ge of America’s ideal high school, look no further than West Lafayette. With convenient district lines allowing a not only small but privileged student body, students fill into classrooms prepared for class in every sense. I absorbed what is known at neighboring high schools as the “West Side mentality,” or the idea that one is inherently better than everyone else due to one’s intellect, wealth, and general upbringing. As an upper class citizen I was taught to look down on those less fortunate through either patronizing or condescending eyes, and as a white person I embraced ignorance because I never witnessed or experienced oppression. I am unable to give up the benefits of my overwhelming privilege, but hopefully along this educational path, a path I am nothing more than lucky to be on, I will gain the skills and knowledge needed to further the quest for equity.

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