Each student, one after another, drove the message home that youth of color are the most impacted by school climate, especially when there’s no meaningful relationships with adults in their school. Alena Cotton, a youth leader from Fresno, shared that “right now, students are experiencing a lot in and outside our schools:
- More than 50 percent of students of color are experiencing high levels of stress because of the political moment.
- More than 200,000 of California’s students are homeless or have unstable housing.
- One-third of students report chronic sadness.
- One-third of students report being bullied or harassed at school.
- One-third of students cannot report at least one caring adult at school
Children and youth feel isolated from adults and this is not at all healthy for our society or for a democracy. Appropriately, the students say, "School climate is the heart." Positive, constructive relationships with adults at school. For all that they need to accomplish in life, what could be more important?
I found this to be true, as well, in the research that I did for Subtractive Schooling: U.S. Mexican Youth and the Politics of Caring which I see is available now on Kindle. I like to think that our push for Ethnic Studies in Texas will go a long way toward addressing school climate matters, but so much more clearly needs to be done. Hats off to CFJ for bringing this to light.