Defined as being treated different as an individual because of ones social status, classism is a colossal concern especially in schools. Though many may not use this term it should be further explained in simpler ways so it can be identified by those who are naive. For those who know of it you have read between the lines of offensive words said by peers and possibly teachers.
Many persons around the globe think that it is the next big thing to racism in society as it can be identified anywhere social status is highly observed. It is a system in which persons are ranked based on their economic status, family linear job status, level of education and much more. In the education system worldwide classism goes along with gender inequalities as there are different types of schools. These are public,private, special ed., same-sex and mixed schools as each gives off a different ora and has different expectations especially varying from same-sex to mixed schools. It is perceived that same-sex schools are better off than mixed schools prior to the fact that these students are from high class backgrounds. In regard to an all girls institution, females seem to behave more poised and delicate or in other words “stush” because of the institution they attend or theu are automatically of a varying sexuality. As for an all boys school, males are often regarded as nerds or a homosexual because of their school choice, the way they walk or talk as well as their posture which is unfortunate.
Each school has its own problems especially classism as some persons in fact has more privileges than others whether it be materialistic or basic necessities. In Jamaica and other parts of the world has a “Meritocracy” which is a system in which hard work and talent is recognized and rewarded, but is this entirely so? Teachers usually have their favourites or their “teacher’s pets” according to students that they pick for everything not giving another person a chance to do what the other can. This leaves others to think that the child feels as though he/she is better than them because they can do whatever the teacher asks perfectly and so on. In mixed schools where you have boys and girls in an institution is oftentimes where classism and gender inequalities are more prominent as boys are perceived as slackers who idle and waste time as girl are usually the smart ones. This then leads to a competition for respective positions in academics. Boys are required to carry the chairs or tables to functions while girls line up or a classroom is dirty and every student is seated girls are most likely reprimanded for being nasty as they are females they are expected to clean and keep their area neat. There is nothing wrong with assigning roles to various genders but why not alternate, boys can be clean too, some are just as smart even smarter same as girls can be strong, some may be slow in learning as well, so gender inequality in its finest is obvious in those scenarios and I think it should stop. Never lessen the abilities and capabilities of any gender especially women as we are classed as natures maids or housewives we cook, clean and babysit as if there isn’t more to us as an individual. Men can do just the same, no gender is higher than the other we are all equals.
In same sex schools classism is the head of most conflicts and cause of separation and cliques. There is nothing wrong with having separate friends but it becomes an issue when a child is being bullied and taken advantage of especially due to there social status. I have seen and observed persons being bullied verbally and by the use of the internet because of their materialistic possessions whether it be clothes, shoes, phones even the way their parents might look and dress which is very childish to say the least. Let me then say a child cannot determine the possessions they get from their parents, a child does not work it is illegal for child labour to even take place. Children on a whole also did not knock on a door of a possibly unfortunate family and say “Hello Parents Its Me, Stepping Into Your Lives At A Broke State”. A person has no right to say another should have had this or that when you nor your parents are willing to provide it in a civilized way or form which would be corresponding with the parent of the possibly child in need.
Oftentimes boys suffer in the hands of student leaders and teachers especially where their hair is concerned. I have seen when schools allow boys with natural curls and has high faded hair are allowed unto the school premises while other who has regular negro hair and is high faded are asked to return home, their parents get called in and other means of punishment. In lights of dress codes in schools for events is also another issue classism tends to feed on. “Sara’s school is keeping their annual Jamaica Day, she got so excited to wear her new yellow sneakers her mom had bought her as well as he black jeggings pants which was two toned and her yellow polo shirt with a white crest. Unfortunately for Sara the Humanities Department stated no two toned outfits, black or white shoes only with white socks or else wear your uniform”. Sara here has to contemplate whether she breaks the rules to avoid being made fun at and the next Instagram story trend for the night or wear her uniform still gets made fun of but a bit more excessively by being called names such as poor etc. What would you have done if you were Sara? COMMENT DOWN BELOW in the comments section
I think it is totally fine to do whatever you want with your life or do what pleases you. If it is that you have or you parents provide you with everything and anything in other word “spoiled you” I have no issue. The issue lies where an individual who is or think they are “first class” is flaunting negatively to one who is seemingly lesser or has nothing close to what they have. Oftentimes persons see it as envy, it is envy but in what way. It is in the way of a person wishing they could at least wear a fashionably trendy shoes or a branded shirt, own a whole store as their closet and has the whole Apple and Samsung store in their room because of the way another decides to make them feel with their parents’ financial status.
Classism in schools should honestly be targeted and eliminated because it can cause a huge divide in social skills for most students and cause them to be more closed off from others. It can also drive a fear in them and this will lead to anxiety and low self-esteem which equals to zero confidence.
BELOW ARE STUDENTS FROM DIFFERENT INSTITUTIONS AND THEIR THOUGHTS ON CLASSISM
~ Jada (Grade 8): “I believe that based on your status, you are treated differently from others as we know people view each other differently. Persons will always have that pull to the person with cash at hand which gives them a certain mind control over them as everyone wants to be their friend, leaving the less fortunate ones by themselves causing them to feel unwanted and lonely”
~Allen (Grade 11): “Classism is mild at my school for it occurs in certain situations one in which i have found myself into. Guys with natural curls “coolie” can enter the premises without question as for those with negro hair will be asked to go to the barber, return home, call parent(s) or guardian and other punishments will usually be implemented”
~Jerome (Grade 11): “In my view, classism isn’t a major issue at my school with teachers having preferences over those of “upper class”, “middle class” and “lower class”. However, some of the students may choose friends based off their social class which sometimes leave some students socially marginalized.
~Moe (Grade 11): “The institution is based on class, if you are not rich might as well sit back and relax as you will not get the same opportunity as others whereas there are favourites. There has been cases whee student leaders who has been punished my breaching school rules are still chosen while those who fit the position are never given a proper chance. Classism and colourism are two of the most prominent social issues at the institution as the “upper class” those of the “lower class”
~Martin(Grade 11): “At my school there is no trace of that or I haven’t come across it as men we share “Suh if a man a eat a food a next man affi a eat to” so I haven’t necessarily come across it.
~Annah (Grade 8): “Student treat others unfairly as they are seen as up their level, make fun of them and take disadvantage”
~Porter (Grade 7): “Being at an all boys school you are not really shunned, you are just laughed at for a while and then its all fun and games afterwards. Though sometimes I honestly see it taking place and I hate it”