VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Figuring out life as a high schooler can be difficult.
You’ve got to juggle a social life, grades and extra curriculars.
However, for some freshmen at Kempsville High School in Virginia Beach there’s another aspect they didn’t anticipate having to deal with.
“Noticing the separation between racial groups during lunch, seeing who sits with who, you kind of get observant with it day after day and you start to notice things,” said 9th grader Jordan Felder.
“You walk around in school and people continuously look down on you because of what you look like,” added freshman Carrington Smith.
Smith says it’s not just the way some fellow students look at her, but what they say, She says the “N word” gets said throughout the hallways often.
“They say it like it’s a new catchphrase or something, that’s degrading, it hurts,” Smith stated.
As a result, Felder proposed a solution to mend the culture gap in the form of a new club called the Black Student Union.
“I started to feel uncomfortable seeing the majority of white people here and then not seeing many of me, so I made this for representation for girls like me and people like me,” Felder said.
“They are vastly underrepresented at this school when it comes to the percentage of white students compared to black students, so the purpose behind the Black Student Union, and the executive board has agreed, is to build community, build confidence, class and increase knowledge of our culture,” said teacher Kimberly Nurse, who is also their new BSU adviser.
About 30 students showed up to the first interest meeting, and they’ve already selected board members.
Smith is the newly appointed president.
“It motivates black students to hold their crowns high, keep their head up,” smiled Smith.
The first official meeting will be held in the fall.
They already have plans to visit historically black colleges and host a culture show.
They want students to know this is for everyone and they’d love any and all support from all racial backgrounds