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Gilmore, McWilliams create student focus group to address insensitivity, school problems

Graph+of+Linganore+High+School+student+population+demographic+as+of+the+2017-2018+school+year.
Graph of Linganore High School student population demographic as of the 2017-2018 school year.

Graph of Linganore High School student population demographic as of the 2017-2018 school year.

Devin Barge

Devin Barge

Graph of Linganore High School student population demographic as of the 2017-2018 school year.

by Devin Barge and Jason Byrd

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The short URL of the present article is: https://lhslance.org/pbhwm

With a school that has a demographic of 86.3% students that identify as Caucasian, 6.1% Hispanic, 2.2% Asian, 2.7% African American, and 2.2% of students who identify as multiple races. However, these percentages don’t represent all of the diversities in our school. Nearly 10% of students are receiving free/reduced price meals during lunch. Ten percent of students are enrolled in special education programs here at school. Whether diversity is visible or not, it’s important to acknowledge everyone, because they’re all fighting their own battles.  All you have to do is look.

Linganore High school isn’t a very diverse environment according to Linganore’s school demographic. Although we have lessons about appreciating diversity through teachings on learning how to be tolerant, the overall time for learning about other cultures is minuscule.

The School Culture Committee, headed by Michelle Gilmore and Andrew McWilliams, has created a student focus group to talk about what’s good about Linganore, where we can improve, and ideas on how to make these changes happen. This group of students, along with the help of school counselors and the assistant principals, will work coherently in order to make our school a more accepting environment. By working together they will have opportunities to bring in outside sources to teach students about a variety of topics, from safety behind the wheel to learning about various cultures.

Assistant Principal Michelle Gilmore said, “We need more tolerance lessons and need to address school issues as they come in a deeper understanding.”

At this year’s Homecoming dance, the uncensored “Caroline” by Amine was played. This song said the n-word multiple times, and a great number of students chanted the word. Some students walked out of the cafeteria, frustrated by what had happened. After students talked to the principal about the incident, she recognized that the staff and students need to do more.

“This isn’t appropriate in any school setting, whether you have a small minority population or a large one,” said Principal Nancy Doll.  According to Doll, the DJ company has been hired several times in the past, and there have never been problems before.  

This is part of the reason why the school established the focus group–to discuss these issues that happen in school and ideas of how to fix them. The Homecoming incident showed that a greater effort needs to be put forth to make sure issues like these don’t happen.

Even if a student may not care to learn about cultures foreign to their own, we all appreciated it if students and teachers make an effort to try. After high school, students are all going to meet many people who come from anywhere and everywhere. It’s important to be accepting of all people. After all America is the melting pot of the world. Respecting others and their backgrounds is crucial in life.

The focus group met November 30.  There are approximately 30 students nominated by teachers.  Ms. Ilana Blum, Mr. Jeremy Brown, McWilliams, and Gilmore asked the students to list positives and negatives about LHS.  Then they brainstormed solutions.

The group expects to meet again in early December.  They have a plan to break into smaller groups to tackle the smaller issues in the school, then combine back into the larger group to take on bigger issues.

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About the Writers
Devin Barge, Co-Editor-in-Chief
Devin Barge (@DevinBarge) is a member of the Class of 2018. Originally from North Carolina, he moved to the Frederick area. Devin looks forward to collaborating for the fourth time and last time with the Lancer Media team, creating interesting stories for the school’s online student newspaper. In his spare time, Devin enjoys playing soccer...
Jason Byrd, Sports Editor
Jason Byrd (@Jason_Byrd2021)is a member of the Class of 2021 and is excited to be apart of Lancer Media for the second year. He enjoys playing basketball, writing about sports, and spending time with friends. He was a player for the New Market Middle School Varsity Basketball team, and he loves helping his community and...
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Gilmore, McWilliams create student focus group to address insensitivity, school problems