How ingrained are your stereotypes?

The recent #DayWithoutAnImmigrant protests have unveiled hidden problems within the education system. Teachers have come out of the closet about their negative stereotypes and biases against their own students. Meanwhile, students fight to be seen as Americans and equals in society despite where they were born. This shows us how much more work we have ahead of us to debunk stereotypes and to create a school system that eliminates bullying by students and teachers.

Over 10% of students who drop out of school do so due to being bullied repeatedly.

Teachers would go to the lunch room and say negative things about other teachers or about their students. So, if we are seeking to teach children to embrace differences, we have to start with our teachers. -Aura, Elementary School Teacher (25 yr veteran)

The above statement couldn’t have been more poignant in the midst of the recent national #DayWithoutImmigrants protests and walk-outs. If you’ve been paying attention, a lot of students who once looked up to their teachers as their allies, now see those very same mentors as hypocrites, back stabbers, and enemies. They’ve been betrayed by the once trusted  people in their lives.

Many Rubidoux High School (in Riverside, CA), students were shocked to learn that their teachers had taken to social media to mock students who participated in the #DayWithoutImmigrants protests by calling them lazy and expressing that the classrooms were better without them. The same thing happened to students from César Chávez Middle School (in Hayward, CA).

Allegations that students received the harsh judgement was said to have been prompted due to riots and improper behavior at the protests. However, regardless of what might have happened, students were outraged and deeply hurt as well as the parents and community members around these two schools.

Students weren’t angry just because their teachers failed to respect their choice of activism, they were furious and devastated to find out that the people they are taught to respect and to trust with their intellectual growth through the worst of them. Continue reading “How ingrained are your stereotypes?”

Bras, Briefs and Your Tax Dollars

While your taxpayer dollars paid for male soldier’s briefs, your taxpayer dollars were considered a misuse of funds if they would have been used to pay for female soldiers’ sports bras and undies.

My first paycheck by the military was only $304.97 every two weeks after taxes. It would have been a little bigger the first month, but because the Army didn’t issue under garments to female soldiers like they did the male soldiers, we had to buy our own sports bras and undies from our own paychecks.

Since we were required to either show proof that we had purchased our own or have them issued to us only if we agreed to have the expenses deducted from our paychecks, we still came out of pocket one way or another. It seemed that protecting men’s jewels took priority over protecting women’s breast from bouncing while running.

The young naive me didn’t really argue with it because the Drill Sergeants’ petrifying demeanor was enough to not give it a thought. Most of the other females and I just went with it. But late at night when all the lights were out and no Drill Sergeants were around, I could hear the loud whispers filled with rage about the inequality of the whole thing.

As I dosed into sleep, I realized that it was unfair, but my body was too tired to allow my thoughts to continue. My deep sleep seemed to last only but a minute because next thing I knew, I was being woken up at 4:30am by a Drill Sergeant banging cymbals in our sleeping quarters. Continue reading “Bras, Briefs and Your Tax Dollars”