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Lockers in empty high school corridor

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A 15-year-old Brooklyn high school student told The Atlantic that his skin color is an obstacle to getting good grades. Zion Agostini explained that, as a Black male, the cops target him for stop and frisks on the way to school.

When he enters the school building, Agostini must empty his pocket before passing through a metal detector—frequently ordered to go through a second time if he forgets to remove certain items. The whole routine all too often causes him to miss the beginning of his first period chemistry class, when the teacher presents important information.

Agostini understands that he’s a victim of racial profiling—navigating his way through a larger society that views him with suspicion because of his race.

The team of Northwestern University researchers confirmedprevious studies that found higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol in Black youth that are linked to dealing with racial discrimination. High levels of stress hormones have a negative impact on cognition.

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