A prestigious public school in New York staged a walkout in protest of the school’s demographics–50% white–and pressed for more diversity.
New York’s Beacon High School had 300 students engage in a mass walkout to protest the school’s admission policy, according to The New York Times.
The students claim that the school’s admission and screening process led to a 50% white student make-up, while New York is only 42% white.
Claims of privilege were carted out to explain the school’s white demographic.
One white student, Toby Paperno, said: “The abundance of privilege in our school is so universal that it usually goes unquestioned and unnoticed.”
A Beacon Hispanic student, Carmen Lopez Villamil, said:“Beacon is really important because if students within Beacon are saying that the system is not working, this means that even the ones who are benefiting are not having it, that this is not working for anyone.”
Cries calling to “end Jim Crow” and slogans such as “education is a right, not just for the rich and white” were heard during the protest.
Beacon High School is known for its stringent admission process, demanding high test scores and samples of prospective student’s Middle School work.
Out of 5,800 applications, only 360 were accepted–an admission rate of 6.2%.
In spite of the low admission rate, the issue of ‘systemic’ discrimination was invoked to explain the demographic disparity between the school’s students and the school system’s 70% black and Hispanic composition.
NYC Mayor, Bill de Blasio, has pushed for more diversity and integration in schools.
Parents have resisted calls to diversify schools under the guise of social justice.
Recently, parents of Queens middle-school students pushed back against reforms to relax admission procedures.