Students struggle discussing race in publications

Khalea Edwards, Reporter

Despite the potential taboo nature of the subject, newspaper editor Lucy Wurst from University City High School said she and her publications staff aren’t uncomfortable talking about race.

“Everyone has equal say and feel that we should definitely discuss (race),” Wurst said.

According to Wurst, University City High School is a school with a majority of black students who, she said, aren’t always treated fairly in the media. She said she sees disparity in the media’s coverage.

“There was once a situation where someone had a gun in the school that accidently went off but no one was hurt. Still, that was all over the news. Then you look at majority white schools and when kids bring cocaine into the school it’s not all over the news,” Wurst said.

Issues of race have come to the forefront recently with high-profile cases like the unrest in Ferguson, MO in 2014 and, just this month, a decision not to indict the police officer who drove the vehicle that transported black suspect Freddie Gray, who died in Baltimore after he was arrested after a shooting.

According to Sami Schmid of Francis Howell North High School, racial issues will always be discussed for many years to come.

“It’s become an even bigger issue since (the) Ferguson (unrest) and everyone’s still at a point where they’re discussing race along with worrying more about (racial) equality,” Schmid said. Not only that, but Schmid said we should live in a world where we are all comfortable speaking about race along with the accepting and loving the differences we all have as humans.

Digital news editor Erica Smith said racial inequalities are big issues because they’ve been ignored for so long.

“(Race issues) have been a ‘your problem not my problem’ kind of thing which makes it an even bigger problem,” she said.

Being a white girl in a predominantly black school, Wurst said she doesn’t ever feel that her opinion on subjects of race ever go unnoticed and everyone has an equal say no matter what skin color they may have. Not only that, Wurst said she doesn’t know of any white people in University City High School who feel uncomfortable sharing their viewpoints on racial inequities.

“(Race) is just everywhere in the classroom,” Wurst said. “I’m big on racial equality, so I think if I had grown up somewhere else that I wouldn’t see (race) the same way.”