5th and 6th graders speak out for social justice

For their seventeenth week of poetry 5th and 6th graders  explored social justice poetry. Social justice poetry reflects on the issues of discrimination and inequality in society. Students discussed major issues in today’s world, including racism, pollution, animal cruelty, gun violence, and police brutality.

Together we read the poem “Bullying,” by former Shoesmith student London R. In her poem London uses similes and metaphors to describe the damaging effects of bullying. Bullying is a train that goes around in circles, cause people sometimes get bullied and then bully someone else. Inspired by London, 5th and 6th graders wrote deep and empowering poems about social injustices.

Readers you too can take a stand against discrimination and inequality.


Ms. Yassky’s 5th Grade
Group 1


Gender Inequality Is Unfair
by Gregory G. 

Gender inequality is like a bad dream.
Gender inequality is like woman
getting less pay.

Gender inequality is like men
not showing emotion.

Gender inequality is getting
bad grades.

Gender inequality is losing money.


by Misa S.

Racism is like colors some people don’t like.
Racism is really important, it can be stopped.
Racism is as powerful as the president.
Racism hurts us and our people.
People treat us different because they
don’t like us.


by Anthony and Zion

Hunger is like a virus.

Hunger is like a tax, getting more
people who can’t afford food.

Hunger is a issue that takes lives.
Hunger is a problem, people suffer.



Ms. Yassky’s 5th Grade
Group 2


Everyone’s Rights
By Adam A. 

Pollution is like sulfuric acid to animals.
Bullying is a knife cutting you up.
Racist police are like zombies.
Black lives matter as much as everyone lives.
Bullying is like a tank coming right at you.
Killing animals is like killing humans.
Bullying the homeless is like destroying the world
Animal lives matter.


The Truth
By Tyasia H.

Being a girl is like prison,
we get treated wrong.

Being a boy is like a person comparing
a pencil to a crayon.

Gender inequality is a clown.

Racism is like a bus running you over,
it hurts.

Racism is like an annoying classroom,
their annoying.

Racism is a monster.
Racism is a broken heart.
Racism is a empty water bottle.


Damirra H.

Racism is like a brown stick getting broken in half.
Racism is like only eating the white part of the oreo.
Racism is like a black spider that crawls on a white
wall that bites me.

Racism is a black TV show showing only white people.


Make A Change
By Rocky L.

Global warming is like a ticking time bomb.
Growing and melting glaciers and rising ocean levels.

Global warming is like a spider growing in number
in your house, ready to crawl and fill your house.

Pollution is a man made disaster, more threatening
than a giant mech.

Pollution is a moldy meal that gives
you a painful stomachache.

These terrible problems can easily be stopped.
All it takes is your best efforts.


Ms. Henry’s 6th Grade
Group 1


The Problem In School…
by Philip A. 

School shootings are like a school painted red.
Shooters are monsters, to me they hate everyone.

Going back is like a burning memory.
The weapon is a ageless item of pain.

You running is like a marathan that has
a high cost.

People in fear is feeding the monster.

School shootings are like a bad dream
that you can’t wake up from.

School shooters feed on your pain,
but you can fight back.


Racism Is Like A Fire
By Noah O.

Racism is like a fire,
killing everyone in its path.

Why is racism alive? I’ll tell you why.
Because a white had spread a lie that said
“All Blacks Must Die.”

This isn’t right.
Yeah, maybe all men aren’t created equal,
but that doesn’t mean we have to be killed
for our melanin.

Our skin.

Racism is like a fire,
killing everything in its past.


Guns But No Trust
By Macario W.

I see people walking and talking.
Little do they know across the block.
Police with glocks waiting for a black
to walk past their block.

Times ticking.
there’s still walking and talking.
30 seconds later. Pop! Pop!

The person who is talking, laid dead on
the same block.

And white people believing the police,
saying ‘I was scared for my life.”



Ms. Henry’s 6th Grade
Group 2


Racism Is A Hungry Wolf
By Ka’Niyah H.

Racism is like a hungry wolf, ready to kill prey.
Waiting for it everyday.

Racism is like a bomb, you never know
when its ready to tik off.

Racism is like life without loved ones.
Racism is like the Jim Crow laws
coming back to attack from way back.

Racism is a confederate flag,
waving free in the wind.

Racism is a ugly face that
doesn’t fade away.

Racism is the last person on earth screaming
for help, but there’s no one there.


By Brooklyn M.

Living like a stereotype,
being a black girl is a nightmare.

Being a black girl is like being
in a horror movie.

Being a black girl is a emotional
roller coaster.

We are not ghetto
We are not ratchet
We can be proper

No more stereotypes.


By Amaya V.

Racism is like an infection that
never goes away.

We see white people trying to look
or sound just like us.

I could see why mothers are afraid
to have their kids in a world like this.

Policemen are racist against black

You rarely see white people getting
killed by white men.

White people are only coming for
black people.

I hear white people talking bad about us,
yet trying to be like us.

On tik tok I saw a white man beating a
black women saying you people need
to go back here you came from.

I felt sick to my stomach watching it.

On the news almost every single day
we see black people dying because,
a white man or woman thought
they were reaching for a gun.




“Writing poetry makes me feel like I can see myself, like I can see my reflection, but not in a mirror, in the world. I write and I know I can be reflected.”
-Oscar S.

“Writing poetry makes me feel free.”
-Buenda D.

“Writing poetry is like your best friend.”
-Jessica M.