BCHS’s best quality? Diversity

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Sandra Sunio, Staff Writer

In the BRUIN way, the “U” stands for “Understand Diversity.” Bear Creek’s mission statement states, “Students honor and share their unique cultural backgrounds to nurture growth, responsibility, and productivity in a climate that fosters pride in diversity.”

Bear Creek is often praised as one of the most diverse schools in the community. Some students go even further to say that Stockton schools are more diverse than most schools in the nation.

Public School Review states that the nation’s average diversity score in U.S. public schools is 0.51. A diversity score is the chance that two students selected at random would be members of a different ethnic group; a diversity score closer to 1 describes a more diverse student body.

McNair High School has a diversity score of 0.67, Lincoln High School received a score of 0.72, and Bear Creek’s diversity score is 0.74.

“Bear Creek is definitely diverse, which is kind of better because in Alabama, you don’t really get a sense of anyone else’s culture because everyone’s the same,” freshman Bailey Kirkeby said regarding her old school in Alabama. “In Alabama, everyone was kind of close-minded whereas here [at Bear Creek], since we’re so diverse, there’s a lot of different perspectives on everything.”

According to Niche, the racial breakdown of Bear Creek is 33.2 percent Hispanic, 30.8 percent Asian, 17.5 percent White, 14.5 percent African American, 2.3 percent multiracial, 1.3 percent Pacific Islander, and 0.4 percent Native American, giving Bear Creek a Niche grade of A+ for diversity.

“It was such a culture shock when I first moved here,” senior Sarah Gyman said about her move from West Virginia. “[The diversity] was minimal [at my old school]. You were either African American or Caucasian. I knew two Asian people in my entire school.”

Bear Creek’s diversity is expressed in its multitude of clubs. Most clubs are cultural, however there are also some clubs, such as Red Cross, Friends For Rachel, and Creek Crazies, that promote community service, spirit, kindness, and acceptance.

A new club, started this year, is G.L.O.W. With its initials standing for “Gay, Lesbian, or Whatever,” the club welcomes anyone of any sexual orientation to their club to celebrate gender diversity.

“We accept anyone, and I’ve noticed G.L.O.W. brings together people you wouldn’t normally expect to hang out or talk to each other,” G.L.O.W. president senior Andrew Hernandez said.

To celebrate its cultural diversity, Bear Creek hosts the annual International rally where cultural clubs perform student-choreographed traditional dance routines. This rally is not only presented to Bear Creek students; the night rally is open for the whole community to watch, spreading its diversity to Stockton and Lodi families.

“[Bear Creek’s diversity] helps me to see other cultures, especially with International rally,” Gyman said. “I love the unique things I learn about the way other people live.”

Some students say the diversity at Bear Creek gives them new perspectives about the world. Senior Aaron Neri, who moved from Arizona, loves to hear people’s stories about their lives in different countries.

“In Arizona, everyone was born in Arizona,” Neri said. “Here [at Bear Creek], people are born from everywhere around the world. Getting to see all these cultures really opens my mind to think more about the world and what goes on everywhere.”