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‘Erica on How School Really is’ by Danny Harris

Danny Harris is a DC-based photographer, DJ, and collector of stories. He launched People’s District, a blog that tells a people’s history of DC by sharing the stories and images of its residents. You can follow People’s District on Twitter @PeoplesDistrict, and can read his previous columns here.

“You all need to know school really is, and why kids be dropping out and stuff. People need to know that because them grown-ups don’t get it. They just be like, ‘You should go to school and be somebody.’ Come on now, it is not that simple. If you are put in a place that is not a learning environments, why should you learn anything? You just gonna follow the click. Just because you call it a school don’t mean that people be learning, especially when most of the teachers don’t believe in their students.

“I do my work and all, but school is boring. I used to go to a charter school, and they took us on field trips and gave us activities. People had school spirit and cared about something. Now, I go to public school and we got none of that. I try to do my best, but I be seeing people drop out everyday because they stop caring. They think that school is boring and it don’t prepare them for nothing. They probably right.

“Even if people here don’t be believing in us, my mother and my brothers believe in me. They don’t want me to be no bum. They are encouraging me to graduate and be the best that I can be. I want to go to college and study journalism. I like to write, but it gotta be about something interesting. I want to tell the stories that people actually want to know about in this city. There are a lot of crazy things that happen here. Just look at the schools. I want people to know that we have no diversity in our schools. I spend my life around black people. The only caucasian people I know are teachers. I wish that would change. I want to get on TV and tell stories that will help change our schools and stop all them kids from dropping out.”

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