2014 Opinion Writing Finalist: Alexandria Neason
“Where Have All the Black and Brown Teachers Gone?”
One day, for instance, a female student arrived at school wearing a bandana—a contraband item in the school’s uniform code—over her head. When the girl said she couldn’t remove it, Bridgewater immediately knew why: The teen had started removing her synthetic braids the night before—a time-consuming effort—and needed to cover her head until she could finish the process. Bridgewater felt frustrated working at a school where most teachers couldn’t make that connection, and therefore wouldn’t let the bandana slide.
Comments from the Judges:
“Alexandria Neason should be honored for her well-reported, well-written, even-handed and thoughtful dive into the lack of diversity among the teaching corps, and the impact of that on students. She balances research with her personal story to create a moving, persuasive essay.”