Being Latino in San Luís Obispo High School
San Luis Obispo High School is a beautiful, welcoming community that I’ve lived in for seventeen years. I have lived here as much as anyone else at my school, but I still have to prove my culture to most of its students.
My very first day, I was asked things like “which brown country” I was from or “you know Spanish right? Can you teach me some?”
If you want to learn Spanish, there’s a thing called Spanish class. It’s free and you should definitely take it.
Being Latino at SLOHS becomes a little annoying when you get asked if you “speak Mexican,” which is the worst of them all. How is it possible to speak a nationality? It shows that public education has failed this individual about teaching him the different nationalities that live amongst him.
I remember when former student Omeed Djassemi played some Latino music during lunch. I was so excited because our culture was finally being represented at school. Other students, however, didn’t like it and requested for him to change the song. A group of my friends and I were having fun until he changed the song in mid-chorus. The students were so annoyed when Latino music played that they stopped having music requested songs at homecoming because they were confused when Suavemente played during the dance. That homecoming had the most complaints about the DJ that I had ever seen, all because of the one Latino song he played during the dance.
The Latino community was disappointed that their classmates didn’t like the dance as much as they did, so they decided to come up with a solution that would keep all of us happy: the Baile de Primavera the dance (Saturday, April 15) which is put on by the MEChA club every year. This dance keeps the Latino population happy and also promotes pride amongst its people.
Although, SLOHS is starting to be more accepting to its Latino community. We have more students being taught about the culture during Hispanic Heritage Month. Students are being well informed about my culture to the point where Cinco de Mayo is not thought of Mexican Independence Day anymore. Granted, students still should have been informed earlier of the different cultures living here. At least now we won’t have as many culturally insensitive students roaming our halls.