The Exception Rather Than The Rule: Unlike Most City Schools, Murrow’s Diversity is Unique

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By: Amanda Salazar

Mariam Jahangir a Pakistani-American student said she enjoys being with her friends in her Trigonometry class. Jahangir said what makes this connection so special is that her friends are so diverse – one is Asian, another Hispanic and another African-American.

“Your race doesn’t define you,” said Jahangir. “Your ideas do. We hang out because we have similar interests, and race isn’t involved in that.”

In an age when New York City schools are trying to become more diverse, Murrow seems to be well ahead of the curve, being as integrated as it is.

“The school reflects the neighborhoods and New York City,” said principal Mr. Allen Barge. “I do think it exposes students to a variety of cultures and perspectives, and I really do think that adds to the positive climate in this school.”

This is shown by the New York City School Quality Snapshot from last year, which said that Murrow is 27 percent White, 27 percent Asian, 23 percent Black, and 22 percent Hispanic. Seven percent of the students are English Language Learners.

Based on these demographics, it’s no wonder that Murrow’s the sixth most diverse public high schools, according to Niche.com.

“Not only are we diverse, we are wonderfully diverse,” Mr. Barge said. “And I do think that it really does add to the amazing culture that we have in school… that’s what really makes Murrow — Murrow.”

Communication Arts teacher, Mr. Joseph Elliot said that it’s Murrow’s welcoming community and wide range of classes is what attracts so many different kinds of students.

“It’s a safe environment,” said Mr. Elliot. “It has a good reputation, and it’s a comprehensive high school that offers the kids anything they’d like.”

Jordan See, 14, said that it is important that there’s a mixture of disabled and non-disabled students within the school. Seventeen percent of Murrow’s population is special needs.

“I think that it is important,” See said. “They deserve equal education treatment as  everyone else.”

Freshman Justin Buencamino, who is in a wheel chair, said that all students should get an equal education and be included in the school.

“I feel like everyone here treats me like family,” said Buencamino. “Like I’m one of their own.”

Senior Stephanie Lahens said that variety in the backgrounds of students is very beneficial to learn life skills.

“It exposes you to more people,” said Lahens, who is African-American. “And you get to interact with different races… You get to learn different things about people you never knew.”

Pertaining to whether Murrow is diverse enough, Mr. Barge said he thinks that Murrow is perfect the way it is.

“The fact that there are different perspectives and cultures, I think promotes the idea of tolerance,” Mr. Barge said. “It also promotes an atmosphere that is beneficial to all students, which in turn… puts an emphasis on respecting one another. And I think that carries over into the real world, and life beyond Murrow.”

Every G-Band, sophomores Elizabeth Cloutier, Cindy Chang, and James O’Connor sit together in class, regardless of their differences in background.

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