From a Student’s Perspective –
By Grace deBest (12).
The question at hand is “Why is DEI important at Lakeshore?”
Let’s start off with the simple definitions of DEI.
Equity: Gets what they need to succeed.
Inclusion: Is included.
Put that together and you get your answer – everyone gets what they need to be successful and included. DEI isn’t just about making black kids or LGBTQIA+ kids feel comfortable, it’s about making everyone of all races and all backgrounds feel a sense of comfort for being themselves here at Lakeshore.
Why do I think DEI is important at Lakeshore?
I think it is important because no one deserves to miss out on high school experiences because of the amount of melanin in their body. No one should be robbed of the classroom experience because they were brought up in a different culture. No student should be ashamed to eat their home packed lunch because they’re scared of another student making fun of them. No student should be scared to walk the halls in the case that a derogatory slur is thrown around. Socioeconomics should not limit a student. These are all real situations that should hold no place in school let alone the world.
As a straight, white, girl at Lakeshore, I know that my experience is more privileged than other students. So I decided to get other perspectives and ask other students why they think DEI is important at Lakeshore.
Ericka Smith (12)
“DEI is important because it can help prepare students for the real world. No single person is the same. There are so many different languages, cultures, and people… it’s important for students to recognize that early.”
Joshua Tomlinson (11)
“I feel it’s very important to have DEI at Lakeshore given people in this area are seemingly too quick to judge those that are “different” from them. Personally, I think this hate stems from a lack of education— people don’t support others because they don’t understand why they might need that extra support, so seeing these people get the needed support makes them feel left out, feeling like the situation is unfair to them (i.e. queer pride month but no straight pride month). There’s a saying that goes, “You fear what you don’t know”. This is accurate to the situation as those who aren’t educated in the struggles of minority groups, groups that struggle solely because of who they are, almost fear them and tend to hate on them. It’s super important that the whole Lakeshore community is educated, not just the students, for most only repeat or know what their parents feed them. DEI is a great way to aid in this issue; the uneducated have access to education from those around them, students their age that may even experience this hate. Being introduced to diversity at the youngest age possible is best so you don’t grow up uneducated on those who are “different”. With that said, however, it is never too late to learn. That is why DEI is so important to Lakeshore, so maybe in the future it can be said with truth and confidence that nobody is afraid to go to school because they look or act ‘different’.”
Isaac Smith (12)
“Lakeshore is a school where certain power systems exist that present some students an easier road to acceptance, joy, and success at school. DEI is important because it helps all students embark on a more even road to academic success.”
I don’t think any parent would want their child to feel like they didn’t belong. Everyone is different and should be accepted and celebrated for it. That is why we think DEI is important at Lakeshore.