Kennett is an incredibly diverse school, with almost 50% of its students being of Latinx descent. Oftentimes, in previous decades, this diversity would be overlooked, simply regarded as unimportant, or in some cases a problem to be solved. Now, the school is looking to celebrate that wonderful diversity that makes our school such a unique place, even compared to the immediate surrounding schools. Unionville, for example, is 95% white.
Leading this new charge to understand and celebrate the cultural and ethnic diversity of the school district are the equity and diversity councils. One is made up of Kennett faculty and staff, while the other contains exclusively students. These groups aim to promote social justice causes and understand how we can better foster a diverse and inclusive culture both within the school and the larger community.
The council has been hard at work, even in a year filled with roadblocks. Just the other day, Emma Nace and Grace Opong, members of the council, presented a new idea to the school board. The idea was relatively simple: A new readily-available google form was created so that students could both suggest ideas as to how the school can become more inclusive and report incidents of harassment to the administration. The school board seemed to love the idea, and we can hope that the form will be implemented soon.
Member students have also helped by assisting at course selection meetings. They have answered questions about the rigors of AP and Honors classes, helping to encourage more students to enroll in the challenging but rewarding courses. Diversity in high-level courses is still an issue for Kennett, and this should hopefully be the first step of many to increasing the diversity of students taking these types of classes.
On the community level, students were recently invited by Southern Chester County Regional Police Chief Gerald Simpson to join a community advisory group that would help to better understand the struggles of both police officers and racial minorities within the community, who are often subject to more incidents of police brutality than white people nationwide.
The council is a relatively young endeavor, but they hope to accomplish more once the pandemic has ended and more students will be back in school.
— Martin Heintzelman