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LETTER: Racism in schools is not just a Charlottesville problem

Recent attention on the role of racism in Charlottesville schools should spark a national conversation

<p>Charlottesville High School was the subject of a recent New York Times and ProPublica investigative article</p>

Charlottesville High School was the subject of a recent New York Times and ProPublica investigative article

In regards to the recent New York Times and ProPublica article, “‘You Are Still Black’: Charlottesville’s Racial Divide Hinders Students,” by Erica L. Green and Annie Waldman, I appreciate the message and point brought on the issue of racism in public schools — it is a starting conversation around a real issue that plagues America. However, the article does not adequately call for a change of the systematic racism that exists in public schools throughout the U.S.

Charlottesville is not the only city facing this crisis. While the writers mention that racial inequality does extend to college towns across the country and offer a link to expand one's knowledge with a ProPublica database, the article focuses too specifically on Charlottesville. The writers expertly chose Charlottesville as the site where the “Unite the Right” Rally occurred — this article is playing on Charlottesville's national chatter as a way to create a lucrative article. 

Hopefully, this article will be impactful to other cities to help with such issues. As Rosa Atkins, the superintendent of Charlottesville City Public Schools, stated, this needs to be a community effort. However, this also needs to be a national effort, not just one city. The national attention on Charlottesville should not limit the relevance of this article — it applies to cities across the U.S. I hope to see a further investigation like this in hopes a movement can be made to combat racial divide in American schools. 

Elisha Rypkema is a third year in the college.