November 19

Liberty Project at North

Students in North’s Gay-Straight Alliance continue to notice the all too common signs of homophobia plaguing our society and our school.  As human rights advocates, they have decided to take a stand once again at North.  The GSA will provide each staff member who asks with a rainbow sticker that reads, “With liberty and justice for all” or a sticker that reads “Safe Space.” These stickers are symbolic reminders of our staff’s commitment to :

  • create a safe school community by stopping biased comments when they happen
  • recognize that harassment can be physical, verbal or implied
  • make himself or herself available to students as a non-judgmental, safe source of support and listening
  • report incidences of harassment to administration
  • treat harassment about sexual orientation the same as if it were about race
November 1

Time Magazine reports John Oliver on Segregation in Schools

John Oliver Looks at Racism and School Segregation on Last Week Tonight

Melissa Locker

On Last Week Tonight, John Oliver turned his gimlet eye on racism, or as he called it, “the problem that Crash failed to solve.” Instead of tackling the topic of racism at large, Oliver looked at the specific issue of modern-day school segregation. While the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was supposed to do away with institutionally mandated segregation, schools across the nation have continued to be segregated due to discriminatory housing policies and economics that helped create segregated school districts. As Oliver noted, “Even as our society has grown more diverse, nearly 7,000 schools have the same racial makeup as the audience at your average Tyler Perry movie.”

Perhaps surprisingly, according to Oliver’s research, the South is the leastsegregated region of the U.S. for black students, while New York City is almost the worst. Oliver was not surprised by the findings, though: “Of course racism exists in New York. Have you never seen West Side Story?”

Predominantly black schools tend to be in high-poverty areas, staffed by inexperienced teachers and less likely to offer college-prep courses, all of which can have a long-term deleterious impact on the psyches and lives of children. “Classrooms should teach children the importance of self-esteem, not rip it from them — that is what prom is for,” said Oliver.