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Respeto - How do cultural notions affect city schools?

rachaelkoone's picture

I was really interested in the idea that Kirp brings up several times throughout the book of "respeto", or respect, as he mentions pertaining to the school. While Union City has its fair share of gangs, violence and other crime, Kirp makes it clear that schools are not considered a risky place - they have no metal detectors, drug dogs, or anything like that in their schools. Gangs stay away, and fights at school are few and far between. Coming off of just having gotten home after my placement where these problems are more present, it makes me wonder why this idea of 'respeto' is so strong in Union City, and not necessarily in all city schools. I personally think it may have something to do with community strength. Union City schools have a strong community feel, whereas my placement in North Philly is seeing its neighborhood split apart for a few reasons, but gentrification as its main reason. The students at my placement school come from many, many different neighborhoods, and since it is a new school, they have had little interaction with each other, sparking fights. It makes me wonder if we could somehow strengthen neighborhoods around schools, would we see increased test scores, better behavior, and more educated students? Would it work for all schools?