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The Claw

The Claw

Ethnic Studies: Mandatory In the Coming Years

Ethnic Studies, a recent semester-course addition to Campolindo, introduces students to the perspectives and experiences of four racial minority groups: African-Americans, Asian-Americans, Latino/Latina Americans, and Native Americans, as well as exploring the roles that prejudice, culture, and identity have played in American society. It is soon to become a mandatory class, not just in the Campo community, but throughout the state.

Out of concern for the level of bias within the current curriculum, the Acalanes Union High School District (AUHSD) chose to examine course materials more carefully and created a new framework for the Social Studies and English departments. As a result, in 2019 Ethnic Studies was introduced to CHS as a course option to be taken besides, sophomore-required, Human and Social Development.

Ms. Bessette, the current Ethnic Studies teacher, agreed with the decision early-on. “I think that it’s the legislature’s effort to give students an opportunity to study history from different perspectives,” she said.

“I felt that it definitely opened my eyes to a whole other lot of differences that I hadn’t been aware of,” said Sol Dente, a senior who enjoyed taking the class two years ago. “I know it was eye-opening for a lot of students who had no idea about a lot of these problems to kind of get that context.”

Sophomore Nishta Mukundan, who is currently taking Intro to Ethnic Studies, also reported, “I think it’s good for people to learn about all of the things that happened in American history in relation to ethnic cultures, and I think that history classes sort of gloss over a lot of different parts of the world, including like South America or South Asia, they don’t really talk about those.”

According to Bay City News, starting in the 2024-2025 school year, Ethnic Studies will become a mandatory course for all sophomore students, and with the class of 2030, graduation requirements will include a passing grade in the class.

Many students are happy to have this class as a choice in their curriculum. “I think it’s a good decision because I don’t think any of the other options are really that great,” added Mukundan. “I think Ethnic Studies is probably the best option. And I think it’s a good class.”




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Lauren Kawamoto (she/her)
(she/her) Sophomore Lauren Kawamoto loves to write and decided to join The Claw staff because it would introduce her to an in-depth look at Campolindo. It is her first year doing journalism and she is excited to be a part of the staff. Her favorite subjects at school are English and journalism. In addition to writing, Lauren has been playing basketball for the past seven years, and is currently part of the JV team at Campo. She also loves to read and has been taking Japanese for nine years. As a sophomore, her goal is to succeed academically in AP Euro specifically, and to keep up with her schedule. She has two younger siblings, a sister in 7th grade and a brother in 5th grade. Overall, she is looking forward to being a part of journalism this year.
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