The Absolute Best School Climate Blogging (This Week)

By Evie Blad — February 28, 2014 2 min read
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Happy Friday, Rules readers. Here at Rules HQ, I’ve been reading about how birth order may affect academic achievement and waiting for my chance to skim a trove of documents freshly released by Pres. Clinton’s presidential library.

Here are some internet tidbits for folks interested in school climate and student well-being. This week, a Jeopardy! champion talks about his experiences with racial stereotypes, a gay basketball player shares the significance of the number on his jersey, and a columnist talks about the great challenge of rural poverty.

For those who care about stereotypes:

“That said, stereotypes aren’t so much about people totally projecting things that completely aren’t there but about people having a framework with which they interpret things that actually are there. It’s not that racism causes people to see (for example) belligerent teenage boys where there are none, but that a white belligerent teenage boy is just seen as himself while a black belligerent teenage boy is part of a pattern, a script, and when people blindly follow the scripts in their head that leads to discrimination and prejudice.”
—Jeopardy! champion Arthur Chu, who is Asian, talked to former champion Ken Jennings about how people have sterotyped him.

For those who care about opportunity gaps:

“When society, specifically those in power, tell a young man of color to ‘lift himself up,’ they are telling him to ignore hundreds of years of racial injustice designed to keep people of color down. This blames youth themselves for their disadvantaged position and the inequities they face.”
—The Philadelphia Student Union criticized an assumption of “My Brother’s Keeper,” a new White House initiative for young men of color. Read more about that initiative in this blog post from our own Politics K-12.

For those who are interested in issues that affect gay youth:

“I am always encouraging others to live their own authentic life. Speak up, and come forward.”
—Openly gay NBA player Jason Collins told The Denver Post he wears the number 98 in honor of Matthew Shepard, a gay college student who was killed in 1998. Collins met Shepard’s parents Thursday.

For those who care about poverty:

“Poverty isn’t just a lack of money, but sometimes a complex web of challenges that keep children from ever reaching the starting line.”
—New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof wrote about child poverty in rural Appalachia.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Rules for Engagement blog.