Army Sgt. Nina Ramon 345th Public Affairs Detachment
Although National Hispanic Heritage Month has come to an end, it doesn’t mean the story is over. September 15 to October 15 is National Hispanic Heritage Month, but that doesn’t mean we have to stop talking about it after the month-long period ends.
With so much negativity currently associated with the Hispanic community in the news today, our school needs to do more for National Hispanic Heritage Month to support our students who have Hispanic heritage.
Hispanic Heritage month originally honors the Independence of five Hispanic countries: Honduras, Guatemala, Costa Rica, El Salvador, and Nicaragua. National Hispanic Heritage month today, however, honors Hispanic values, history, and culture.
National Hispanic Heritage Month was founded formally by President Lyndon Johnson in 1968. It used to last only a week, but in 1988, President Ronald Reagan extended it to a full month.
In order to commemorate Hispanic Heritage Month, UNIDAD formulated a teacher door decorating contest for National Hispanic Heritage Month, and posters of Hispanic writers were put up around the school. This was all very good because it exposes the school’s students to Hispanic Heritage, but more can be done to shine a spotlight on how good Hispanic culture is even when people don’t understand the good in it, especially when our President chooses to demean people of Hispanic heritage.
While Hispanic people in America try to live their lives, Trump is feeding some American people’s prejudices with hate speech and horrendous actions. Many people with more privilege thus feel secure enough to treat minorities like dirt just because the President’s words make it seem appropriate.
This just goes to show that if people were more educated on these types of issues, people will be able to open their hearts and minds, to understand the hurt this group often faces on a day to day basis. The issue got so out of hand that a Texas teacher actually contacted Trump personally to get two of her students deported.
That’s why it is important to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. We can use this time to especially recognize all of the hardships and challenges that people of Hispanic cultures have to go through when they continue to live by their values and beliefs.
It’s the school’s job to keep children safe and to educate them about the world, their peers, and even themselves. Our teachers in Norristown Area High School could do activities and host events during this month to teach students and even learn a bit themselves about Hispanic culture.
For example, classes can do projects about a Hispanic country. This way is more engaging, and it informs students about Hispanic heritage because they would then have to interact with the material to understand and present the project. It’s a good way for students to learn about the importance, history, and even some fun facts about a part of the culture they do not know about.
Another thing that could be done is the school could bring in an expert to talk to us about the issues Hispanic people face in the United States. This allows students to hear from someone who knows what they are talking about, for students to see these issues in a new light and possibly what they can do to be supportive of people to experience these struggles.
These are just some ways to educate students so change in the community and even the country can happen.
This could keep students from growing prejudiced towards the Hispanic culture as they got older, even developing more compassion towards others in general. Educating students about these issues can help bring people together because education leads us to more understanding and more open minds.