Putting Education Reform To The Test

The Secret Lives Of Students: One Building, Two Schools

Breakthrough Miami

Dieudonne Saint-Georges, 13, does not participate in her schools magnet program. She says she feels like she's been labeled as an "average or below average learner."

For today’s installment in our series, The Secret Lives of Students, we hear how magnet schools can make some students feel left out. 

Editor’s note: This post was written by middle school student Dieudonne Saint-Georges who is participating in the summer school program, Breakthrough Miami. 

By Dieudonne Saint-Georges, 13

It’s natural for humans to group themselves according to interest and views. It has come to the point that humans crave companionship and acceptance. However, separation tends to cause problems.

Throughout history the fact that humans naturally group themselves have been known to cause wars.

One group tends to believe they are superior to the other, or others and that causes conflict. Sure cliques that form in schools are created unpretentiously, but sometimes that causes separation in schools.

John F. Kennedy Middle School is separated into its well-known magnet program called BEAT and its regular school. It seems as though people have become accustomed to seeing the school as two now.

This has led to fights between the two sides as they each believe they are more superior to the other.

Being on one side guarantees you opportunities not offered to the other side. Sure the faculty wants to create the illusion that everyone is equal, but everyone knows that’s not the case.

It seems as though you are expected by your peers, to act a certain way depending on the side you attend. When you are in BEAT you are expected to be extremely smart. If you’re on the regular side, you are already labeled as an average or below-average learner.

You are labeled before getting known. Sure not many people will say it to yourself face but it’s still being said. You can’t be you.

Like many good schools, John F. Kennedy Middle has many extracurricular activities. Of course the faculty tries to stress the fact everyone can participate.

However, it’s hard to participate in something you didn’t know about. Sometimes word of a new club doesn’t get around to everyone. You miss out on opportunities.

This forced separation causes more problems than good. Splitting the student body causes division among peers.

If there really is a need for the separation, then the staff should do all in their power to make the student understand: This is still one school.

Dieudonne Saint-Georges, 13, is a rising eighth grader at John F. Kennedy Middle School. During the summer school program with Breakthrough Miami she attends the Miami Country Day school campus.

For the next month we’ll hear from students about life in Florida schools. They’ll open up about conflicting home and school rules on fighting, the FCAT, using technology in classrooms and other aspects of school life.


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