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.
In such a situation, they often have to choose which is more important: attraction and chemistry or parent approval.
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.
Freshman Jayda Persaud said, “If my parents thought that something wasn’t good for me, I wouldn’t do it because my parents are usually right.” Junior Dina Goodger, on the other hand, told of her parents’ vehement opposition to her dating someone of a different race, but said that she would go against their wishes to date whomever she wished.
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.
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.
In 2003, 64% of students polled said that they would be comfortable dating a person of a different race. In 2014, based on a survey of 378 students, this number has jumped to 88%.
Despite the rising number of interracial couples at Townsend Harris, a primary concern of students is the stark opposition they might face from their families.
In some households, parents do not give their children the opportunity to use their best judgement in selecting a partner.
Junior Javaria Sarwar simply said, “My parents would disown me.” With the inevitability of family affecting student outlooks on interracial dating, there are nonetheless a number of interracial couples among the student body.