At St. Barnabas we’re proud to say that nearly one-quarter of our student body are people from minority communities. As other private education institutions are criticized for a lack of diversity, we are charging ahead on a mission to promote diversity on our campus. Our students come from different communities and some from different countries, but is it enough to put students together on the same campus and call it diversity? We think there are very specific factors that make private education a great place for building a diverse community.
Shared Spiritual Beliefs
As the childhood bible song goes, “little ones to Him belong,” and we believe that. Central to all of our teaching is the fact that each and everyone one of us is loved just as we are, no matter what differences we perceive in each other. It is spiritual lessons like these that bring the broad concept of diversity down to a practical level that our children can understand. Because we provide private education we are able to use this important tool to demonstrate the lesson of diversity.
Small, Safe Community
Because of the small size of our school, it’s virtually impossible for students and their families to go unnoticed or become disconnected. While larger schools see students split off and divide based on their differences, in private education the classes are generally smaller and more intimate which encourages students to bond together across race, gender, and nationality. We're deeply proud of the community forged at St. Barnabas.
And we also believe that there are things that you, parents who are committed to this high-quality private education can do to help promote diversity: be open to hard conversations.
The history of America is not always as positive and patriotic as we sometimes like to think it is. And while our country was founded on the belief that we are all equal, under God, there have been plenty of instances where we have not practiced what we’ve preached. The reality is, citizens of our nation have been divided over this belief in equality and wars have been waged about it.
While this truth isn’t flattering or comfortable to discuss, it’s important that children are told the whole truth about our past so they can put into context our present. If you don’t know where we’ve come from it can be easy to write off the concerns of people who have felt marginalized by our shared past. This is not to say your children need to know the gory details that are being publicized in the news, but telling the truth in love will help to inform the way they understand their classmates who look, sound, or experience life differently than they do.
Your children may want to discuss these tough topics, and we believe you are uniquely positioned to lead them as they think about what diversity means in their lives.
If you and your children are not yet members of the St. Barnabas community, but you’d like to learn more about our school with a commitment to diversity, contact us today. We’d love to share a tour of campus.