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### Discrepancy Unveiled: Teacher Diversity Fails to Reflect Student Demographics

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) – Recent statistics from the New Tennessee State Collaborative on Education Reform (SCORE) have highlighted disparities in the racial composition between Tennessee teachers and students.

According to the data, Black students account for 41% of the state’s student population, whereas only 23% of teachers are Black. Similarly, Hispanic students make up 18% of the student body, while Hispanic teachers represent a mere 2%.

Lydia Schumake expressed concern over these findings, noting a longstanding trend. She recalled her own experience of having limited representation among teachers during her formative years, except for one standout individual.

Reflecting on her favorite teacher, Ms. Deborah Grimes, Schumake emphasized the profound impact of having a Black teacher who took the time to connect with her on a personal level. This experience has inspired her aspiration to become a similar source of support for future students.

Schumake underscored the potential repercussions of the lack of representation, a sentiment echoed by fellow educator Tee Wilson. Wilson shared a distressing memory from her youth when she was expelled from her Catholic high school at the age of 14 due to her hair, an incident that deeply affected her self-worth and identity.

As an administrator, Wilson is committed to breaking this cycle of trauma and insecurity by providing a supportive environment for her students. She emphasized the importance of students seeing individuals who resemble them achieving remarkable feats, as it instills confidence and belief in their own capabilities.

Both Wilson and Schumake proposed practical solutions to tackle this issue, including advocating for increased funding for resources and teacher support to bridge the existing gap. Furthermore, they are actively involved in establishing a school that will serve as a nurturing space specifically for girls of color.

Despite attempts to gather input from Metro Nashville Public Schools regarding the data, there has been no response at the time of reporting.

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