[EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is a Letter to the Editor, written by a verified resident. It does not necessarily reflect the opinions of The B-Town Blog, nor its staff:]
The Highline Youth Race and Equity Coalition (HYREC) was established by eight young women; Raisbeck Aviation High School’s Jordyn Famimiko, Abigail Lindo (myself), Maya Matta, and recent graduate Davie Anne Ross as well as Mary Belay, Ishleen Kaur, Danawit Taffes, and Tina Tessema of Mount Rainier High School. To the surprise of many, we have never met each other in person. This past summer, we became extremely dependent on our technology, and after numerous FaceTime calls, emails, and Zoom meetings we became a team. As students of color ourselves, we wanted to be heard. We needed to be heard. We needed to enhance and represent diverse voices and perspectives across the education system. Amid the worldwide pandemic, technology became our voice.
Many HYREC members were disappointed by the sudden transition to distance learning as many of us are high school seniors. I, Abigail Lindo, from Raisbeck Aviation High School did not have many concerns about online learning because I knew my brand new, school-issued, touch screen computer wouldn’t have any technical difficulties. I also knew my school received a great amount of funding from different organizations to ensure students were equipped with the tools they needed to succeed. However, I’ve always wondered why other schools within the district did not share the same resources that my school is fortunate to have. Our HYREC members at Mount Rainier High School, along with all other high school students in the district have had to use a cheaper, slower, school-issued laptop. From software incompatibilities to glitching or insufficient battery, there was always a problem.
When HYREC learned that the technology levy would help provide equitable resources for all students in the district, we knew it represented a chance to redress disproportionality in education. November 3rd, Highline voters get a chance to vote for the $32.5 million technology levy. It has the power to balance and distribute resources to all Highline students. The world has become more dependent on technology now more than ever. Students are gaining useful life skills, networking skills, and receive up to date information with ease.
As for HYREC, technology has encouraged collaboration between classmates and instructors. For this reason, we have worked with the Highline School District’s Superintendent Dr. Susan Enfield, Highline School District Board of Directors’ Aaron Garcia and our Governor’s Office of Education Ombudsman Yordanos Gebreamlak to demand equality for all. It is time that resources were expanded to everyone. The tech levy will change lives by replacing aging computers for students and teachers, helping students achieve digital and media literacy, and breaking economic barriers.
Thank you for your time and please stay safe during these unprecedented circumstances.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Do you have something you’d like to share with our highly engaged local Readers? If so, please email your Letter to the Editor to [email protected] and, pending review and verification that you’re a real human being, we may publish it. Letter writers must use their full names and cite sources – as well as provide an address and phone number (NOT for publication but for verification purposes).