Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School has a reputation of high graduation and success rates, yet statistics do not reflect the full reality. In the video ‘I, Too, Am B-CC’, many B-CC students discussed lingering prejudices and perceptions of the achievement gap, a significant and persistent school-wide disparity in academic performance or educational attainment between different groups of students
“I remember coming into the room [after] one of our academic practices and [saw] one of the girls talking to another guy and saying, ‘oh she only got in because she’s black,’” said Makdes Hailu, a B-CC student. She and other students explained the struggles of being an African American teenager in the video that originated as a school project for a film class.
“They say you’re this way because of whatever physical features you have or what other ethnic, social, or racial background you have; and people see that and they’re like, ‘okay well if everyone is telling me that I have to be this way then I guess I should be this way,’” said Tiffany McLeary, a student featured in the video.
The video has stirred a major response among other Montgomery County high schools. Next month, the student producers of, “I, Too, Am B-CC” plan to work together with other Montgomery County students to create a video called, “I, Too, Am MCPS.” Students from neighboring high schools such as Whitman, Wootton, and Walter Johnson have been inspired to create a movement in their schools as well.
Students at B-CC High School are determined to make a change. “I want the gap to be gone,” said Ms. Mauer, an English teacher at B-CC. To do so, students will prepare presentations about the topic and organize forums around the school. “To make a change in the world, we need to make a change in ourselves,” says Orlando Pinder, the creator of the video.
The video can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2KpKEFEpHms.
Article by the MoCo Student Staff Writer Corina Davis of BCC High School
Image from “I, too, am B-CC” video