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On Challenge Day, the students also tackle Monroe High School's most destructive issue—racism.

Chris, a senior football player, stands before his classmates and apologizes for making racist jokes about his teammate and friend, Dorian.

"There are a lot of people in here today that I've said some things [about] that I never should have said. Nobody deserves what I said to them," he says. "I want everybody to know that I'm not going to just stop here. I'm going to go out to my family, and I'm going to let them know that racism's not where it's at. ... Today I overcame a huge hurdle in my life, and I just want everybody to know that and I'll be here for any one of you if you need me."

After receiving a hug from Dorian, Chris's African-American classmates walk up—one by one—to embrace him.

Niccole, an African-American student who experienced racism at Monroe, feels like Challenge Day helped break down some of the walls that may have contributed to the problem. "I think [students and teachers] didn't realize that it was happening. I mean, they did it, but they didn't really think about it," she says. "I think, at that point, they realized that what they say does affect what people do."
FROM: Oprah's High School Challenge
Published on November 09, 2006


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