While some educators and historians refuse the presence of racism in the South, its evidence can still be felt, because its effect on education is often experienced. As a serious ongoing issue that needs to be solved, racism in education’s resolution is not that hard. The problem needs more attention and awareness given by governments, schools and families collaboratively so they all would figure out what they are doing wrong and what needs to be done to eliminate this unacceptable behavior.
Racism in schools affects students’ personalities, especially their self esteems. Children when asked about how they responded to racist acts they said that they would respond on those by one of four responses, “ignoring, explaining, joking, and confiding” and few of them mentioned fighting. For example, one student mentioned that if some one called him racist names, he would laugh and this show that he did not stand for his race to defend it. Moreover, researchers have found that students in primary schools tend to report racist acts more than intermediate or high schools students. The reason for this is that, unlike intermediate and high schools students, students in primary schools usually have one teacher who teaches them most of their courses and that they are more comfortable. However, children would rather keep racist incidents to themselves than reporting them.
Several researchers have concluded that students who attend schools that are located in multicultural areas, which usually offer low levels of valuable education, are more likely to fail classes (Jaspin 63). As a result, such students can be retained in the same grade several years or be placed in special classes those for low learners. It has been reported that even if they pass their courses, it will be with low grades. In such schools, students of color are put in low level ability groups which will reflect on their scholastic acquirements. A study that considered the differences between black and white students’ vocabulary knowledge showed that black students graduate lower than white students in vocabulary knowledge level by four years. Besides, students’ low performance, colored students, if mocked about their race or culture, feel that it is an insult of their whole families, races and cultures, which will affect their comfort in the school. In addition, students of color, unlike other students, do not always participate in classrooms’ activities, because they want to keep up with the stream which says that if you did well at school, you will be made fun of. On the other hand, some students do not care as much about those streams that affect their education. Eventually, those students’ academic levels will decline until they dropout.
Families have a great effect on students' education level. In addition, housing condition affects children's ability to study at home, to concentrate at school, and to grow up in a positive environment. Researchers found that parents' education level usually reflect on their children's education levels (Muhammad 84). Minority groups such as blacks and Hispanics in the south often posses low levels of education, which implies that they do not work in high level jobs and earn low amount of money. As a result, children will be placed in low level preschools and live in poor neighborhoods. When children realize how the labor market is, according to people around them, they see people of the same race as theirs work in low level jobs; this makes them not care about education.
At the first years of children’s lives, some parents, especially colored ones in Alabama do not pay enough attention to their kids’ readiness to school (Thomas 21). This is a major cause for racism in schools, because poorly prepared colored children get lower level skills such as reading and writing, unlike others who are well prepared. This will create a wider gap between the two groups of children as they grow up. This gap will increase, because every academic level has certain requirements that are supposed to be covered at the lower levels. This does not mean that all colored children receive poor education from their parents, but statistically colored people comprise a large portion of people who receive lower incomes. Researches indicate that if this early gap can be eliminated from the beginning, the educational differences between black and white students in the twelfth grade will decrease more than fifty percent (Helms 39).
Some studies have reported that white and colored students’ levels are the same during the academic year (Hood and Quentin 59). The only change occurs at summer time, because when colored students come back to school the following year they possess less knowledge about previous years’ courses than white student. The time that students spend with their parents without attending schools is the main factor here because, unlike colored students, white students tend to continue progressing and reading in the summer time.
In conclusion, the problem of racism in the south gets wider as children grow up. Some parents unintentionally reflect to their teenage children certain behaviors that teenagers will take as their cultural identity. Some colored students, especially blacks, think that speaking right English or studying is considered a threat to their cultural identities. Therefore, if a student from their same race studied well and spoke normal English, they would consider him/her disowning his/her own racial and cultural identity. In this regard, most black students in the south do not participate in classes or study, because of this imaginary false identity, which is mostly acquired from parents and family members. Therefore, it is evident from these research findings that racism is still in the south.