Student’s Privilege Blinds Them From Reality


El Espectador

“Social leaders” and citizens in Colombia face with violence everyday, but there is no sign of the TSC students caring about the topic. This issue has gotten worse during quarantine, with various cases of police brutality reported. “…we are not seeing social leaders being murdered around the corner because we live in el Poblado, but if we lived in el Choco or in Riohacha or in more rural areas, I think it would change,” TSC student Salome Beyer said.

Isabelle Vergnaud, Discoverer Staff Writer

Indifference has been shown by the Columbus School students regarding the ongoing protests in Colombia after a police encounter that resulted in the death of a citizen.  

After the case of police brutality, protests in the main cities of the country started. Not only did they protest against the police, but the murders that have been happening during quarantine, the violence against women and death of social leaders, were also brought up. There is no sign of the students in social media talking about these problems. Sociales teacher, Karol Marin, explains why students don’t give importance to the country’s news. 

“Most students in the school have access to many opportunities outside of the country. Most of them plan studying abroad, not living here and that they could win a scholarship to leave the country,” 10th grade sociales teacher, Karol Marin, said. 

Among many reasons for the disinterest, privilege also came up during an interview with a TSC student. For instance, the fact that students aren’t exposed to violence or danger every single day because of the city and neighborhood they live in. She further explained how socioeconomic status affects how students see the country’s problems. 

“…they are so privileged that they don’t need to care and a lot of people think that if they are not affected by it then it’s not a problem. And that is privilege within itself,” Salome Beyer, 12th grade student and Girl Up Teen advisor, stated. 

Salome also stated that privilege itself isn’t a problem, but it’s necessary to educate oneself in order to help others. Not only does privilege play a role, but Marin also blames the country’s long history of polarization as her biggest issue when teaching sociales in the school.

“What students learn at home and that tradition of who is “uribista”, “petrista” or “santista”, also makes the content not interesting,” Marin said. 

Having a solution to this problem, comes with huge leverage from tradition and privilege. So the hard work of teachers and students continues to try and improve ignorance from most of the TSC students. Beyer also talked about “recognizing her privilege,” and stepping out of her comfort zone as solutions. 

“Definitely intersecting with more diverse groups of people because that is what changed it for me… generally talking to people that have had different experiences,” Beyer said.