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Photography Exhibit Takes Students Behind Closed Doors

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"The Front Door" by Corey, a junior at Roosevelt Senior High School. Students have had to enter the back door for years, but have lobbied to reopen the front entrance. The front entrance is now under construction.
http://criticalexposure.smugmug.com/Exhibits/Both-Sides-of-the-Lens-Spring/17005583_XDPkqZ#1298593581_xHKRMnG
"The Front Door" by Corey, a junior at Roosevelt Senior High School. Students have had to enter the back door for years, but have lobbied to reopen the front entrance. The front entrance is now under construction.

Every day, junior Jacquan Clark walks past the pillars and portico that mark the front entrance to Roosevelt High School. Then, dodging dumpsters and parked cars, he walks through the back door like the rest of his classmates.

"It's because the front door has been closed for a period of time, blocking us and making us use the back door," he says.

Clark isn't sure why the front door was closed in the first place, although he thinks it has to do with security. But he knows this much: Forcing students to use the back door is undignified.

"Because of the heritage of the students, we have a highly diverse population of minorities," he says. "We deserve the ability to use the front door."

So Clark and his classmates teamed up with the local nonprofit Critical Exposure, which equips students with cameras. They took photographs of the situation and passed them on to administrators. Now the front door is under construction, and students hope it will be open by graduation.

"We had spoken a thousand words, but a picture said another thousand to go along with," he says.

Photographs by Clark and other D.C. students are on display at the Pepco Edison Place Gallery through June.

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