Parents and students describe pull factors of East Lansing schools

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Parents make many choices about their children’s lives and there are many ways for them to use the schools they want.

Ellen Ives, mother of a senior at East Lansing High School, said she moved the district so her son could attend the school. She said they looked at many aspects of the school before moving, and ELHS had more to offer than just academics.

Ellen Ives

Ives’s oldest son went to Lansing Schools.

“Because our younger son is Asian, we looked at ethnic makeup of the schools. We wanted a school that was diverse,” said Ives. “Mostly, we went because we are a gay household, so we wanted to be in a blue city, a liberal city.”

East Lansing father John Baker said all his children attended East Lansing schools from kindergarten through 12th grade. He said there is a mixed crowd within the walls of ELHS.

“People who are more interested in a progressive agenda tend to like East Lansing High School,” said Baker.

He said his daughter is a member of Students for Gender Equality at ELHS. He said this group has been crucial in awareness for her, and she has even brought a few lessons home to her dad.

Senior Zion Keyes is a schools of choice student at ELHS from Lansing. Prior to this, she attended a private school in Waverly. In addition to extracurricular activities and academics, Keyes said her mom sent her to East Lansing schools to give her more real-life experiences before college.

Though East Lansing has many awareness programs and groups such as the Gay Straight Alliance, Black Student Union and Students for Gender Equality, Keyes said the school still has its flaws.

Keyes said that even in East Lansing, being a person of color at a new school was hard, but with time she settled into East Lansing schools.

Though the student makeup may be diverse, Keyes said she wished the faculty was as well.

“I love the teachers at East Lansing,” said Keyes. “I just wish we had more administration or teachers who looked like me and came from what I came from.”