This story was originally published by the school newspaper at Townsend Harris High School and is now being presented on the Daily News website as part of the Newsies!high school journalism competition for articles from 2015.Michele Hutchinson said, “As long as the person is a good, honest, person, then race shouldn’t really be a factor in [her child’s] decision.” PTA Executive Board Representative Jordan Leeds agreed with this sentiment, stating that he hopes “the fact that my children were raised in a very diverse community [means] that they’re open to every race or religion” and that he doesn’t “want them to avoid [dating someone of a different race or religion] because of me.” One anonymous parent, however, did say that she “would probably prefer if she dated someone of the same race,” but that she “wouldn’t forbid my child to date someone of a different race solely because of that person’s race.” The United States once had laws forbidding interracial and interethnic marriage., which were then repealed in 1967.Because our predecessors resisted interracial dating, their beliefs have carried down to later generations, affecting our present day views on partners of a different race or ethnicity.Runner-up, Feature Writing Eleven years ago, The Classic conducted a poll to determine the general opinions of students on interracial dating.As a concept that is still prevalent among Harrisites, we conducted a similar poll and series of interviews to see what has changed and what has stayed the same.
Commenting on whether she would be involved in a relationship even if her parents disagreed, Junior Maya Adut responded, “I wouldn’t date someone if my parents didn’t agree because I wouldn’t want to hurt them.” Senior Eva Jiang shared that whereas her mom would most likely agree with a partner of a different ethnic background, she said that her dad would most likely shake his head in silent disapproval.
Over 40% of poll respondents identified Black, Hispanic and Middle Eastern as groups of which their parents would disapprove.
Senior Stanley Li explains, “Considering our parents are from a previous generation, they’re more conservative in their views.” Junior Elina Niyazov commented that her parents’ disapproval of certain races “is something so obvious that they don’t need to say it.” When certain members of the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) were asked if they cared to comment, few said that they would disapprove of their children being in an interracial couple.
Sophomores Jillissa Drayton and Adam Sosnicki expressed that friends and outsiders have lauded their relationship.
Jillissa said, “I think people get excited to see a progressive, mixed race couple. There are, of course, those few friends that say something a little rude unintentionally every now and then.” On the other hand, Adam felt the pressures from his family regarding his choice of partner, and said, “I’ve gotten criticized by my family, especially since they’re very traditional Europeans, who, not to paint them in a bad light, aren’t the most tolerant people. Rodriguez tied the knot, her parents were very accepting of their decision. Yan strayed from her parents’ preferences when it came to her dating life, 71% of polled students said they would date someone of a different ethnic background even without their parents’ consent.