It was my experience attending Deer Valley four years ago that the campus population was extremely divided. It didn't help to have two cafeterias either. It encouraged people to segregate. Not only did they not have to eat at the same lunch table, they didn't even have to be in the same building! 'Breaking bread' or sharing a meal with your peers was one of the defining moments of the day. Deer Valley practiced a traditional, dominant-centered teaching approach. The curriculum I experienced modeled after culturally dominant values rather than an anti-bias approach. I did not feel I was a part of an institution that upheld a pro-active approach to culture, race, class, gender or ability. I did not feel prepared for college. Deer Valley prepared us for memorization and scantrons. In college they want you to think, articulate your opinions and reason with your mind. I struggled with a few subjects in school, yet no one identified my learning disability until I reached college. Deer Valley placed too much importance on sports and not enough on acedemia, holistics or multi-culturalism. For example,we had this Multi-Culture event once a year that was supposed to create some kind of understanding to the predominately white student population. I'm sorry, all Middle Easterners don't belly dance, and very few Mexican people twirl elaborate dresses and sombreros. The use of a traditional and almost obsolete dances once a year is exploitive and demonstrates our bias by lumping a culture together by representing it with one group of dancing teenagers. (Some of the people in the audience, will only have this example portrayed for them for their entire lives!) Everyday should include and reflect each student and their place in the world. Put into perspective what life is outside of the school eco-system educators! As a teacher, I am.
Despite Deer Valley's past reputation of excellence in student government/ leadership, the current leadership program is creating tension that is creating an atmosphere of pain in the school.
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