Students Talk About Racism at Eagle Valley High School


Students working in 6th period biology at Eagle Valley High School.

Leslie Lopez

Throughout students’ time at EVHS, there have been many complaints about the racism that has been spreading in our community. When asked if students at EVHS have had personal experiences with racism; Franco Rodriguez a Hispanic Sophomore at Eagle Valley High School responded “I remember one time some kid came up to me in class, said some pretty racist things… he told me to go back where I came from. He said people like me crossed the border illegally. He said illegal people, like me, shouldn’t be here.”  There is a certainty of racism in our community, this is what some students have to deal with at Eagle Valley High School daily. When asked the same question, David Dominguez, a Hispanic Freshman at Eagle Valley High School shared his experience “I remember because recently, a kid said b-word ..towards me. And this other kid, these other white kids are saying the N-word a lot.” These comments always seem to pass and are widely accepted in our EVHS community. Regardless of who it is directed to. 

Teachers have also been condoning and allowing these actions at some level, although we know the damage it could be causing in our diverse community. Students are constantly experiencing derogatory comments daily. As a community, teachers and students alike need to do better.  With times changing there has been a bigger understanding of the usage of words such as “b-word.” The ignorance is huge, faculty members and our community as a whole should now have a basic understanding of these derogatory actions and how they could be wrong. Our school system has been very forgiving with these actions and comments. These things happen daily, over and over again, being blatantly ignored. This is slowly over time, creating an issue. If our school keeps forgiving so easily, why wouldn’t anyone else? 

Furthermore, there has been a recent dilemma in the EVHS community with Instagram accounts. One of the accounts was made to bring light to racism in our community over social media.  The post and the people involved had been ignorant. “I don’t think it was necessarily fair that the school didn’t speak out on it, because everyone knows that those people are racist. And I think that if they would have happened individually, those people would have gotten punished. But just because it didn’t happen individually so there was no punishment”, explains Edith Hernandez a Hispanic Freshman at Eagle Valley High School.  David Dominguez also agrees, “I say the school should have talked about it because it’s kind of like since they didn’t it’s kind of like, it’s fine that the people in the account did that. And I don’t think it’s fair. Because like, if we [POC] said something about the white kids, they were probably making a really big deal. And I don’t understand why they don’t call them out”.

The school did not speak about this issue publicly causing more confusion as if these actions were accepted in our community as David explains, it gives a sense of ignorance towards such a diverse community. Eagle Valley High School claims to be a loving and helping community. There has to be a clear boundary set on what the EVHS community will still be considered to be forgivable and forgotten. The absence of a clear punishment makes it understandable why students would think behaviors like these would be acceptable. If there would have been a public discussion of what the consequences would be for the students on the account. 

So what is the solution to this problem? Edith Hernandez said “I don’t think that racism is necessarily ever going to go away because there’s always gonna be that one person who just thinks that it’s okay for them to act and say those things but I think that it should be taught a lot more on how it is wrong and I think it should be more disciplined correct”. If students and staff members within our community taught each other the wrongfulness, many of these hurtful situations could be avoided. EVHS as a community can make a change and become better, but it’s up to you to make a change for our school and community.