Teachers Can Help Prevent Discrimination

Article Tools
  • PrintPrinter-Friendly
  • EmailEmail Article
  • ReprintReprints
  • CommentsComments

To the Editor:

The Commentary "Two Lives Diverged" by David Bamat (Oct. 10, 2012) brought back memories of Boonton (N.J.) High School, from which I graduated in 1966. At Boonton, we were separated into general, commercial, college, and scientific tracks. I chose the scientific track because of a lifelong interest in science (not realizing at the time that women would be discouraged from entering those fields).

My best friend, Maureen, was put in the general track. Maureen told me that the school must have thought she was a dummy. As a result we had very few classes together. We lived in adjacent neighborhoods, both of us had horses, and we would ride together after school. Maureen had more common sense than anyone I knew and could read people like an open book. She attended Meredith College and became a certified equestrian instructor.

We both learned gender discrimination. One summer, Maureen showed me a boarding stable that was hiring help. We went up to the owner to ask about the job, to be told that he only hired boys to work for him. There was no legal recourse at that time.

As the article so poignantly points out, race (as well as gender) discrimination still exists. As educators, we must recognize the presence of discrimination and take steps to reverse the situation, whatever it might be.

Discrimination can be very subtle and insidious, and difficult to detect.

It takes responsive teachers like David Bamat whose intuitive perceptions enable him to put in place the educational countermeasures necessary to change the status quo.

Karla Christensen
Jordan, Mont.
The writer is a retired educator and served as the Garfield County, Mont., superintendent of schools from 1994 to 2007.

Vol. 32, Issue 13, Page 34

Published in Print: December 5, 2012, as Teachers Can Help Prevent Discrimination
Related Stories
Notice: We recently upgraded our comments. (Learn more here.) If you are logged in as a subscriber or registered user and already have a Display Name on edweek.org, you can post comments. If you do not already have a Display Name, please create one here.
Ground Rules for Posting
We encourage lively debate, but please be respectful of others. Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited. By commenting, you are agreeing to abide by our user agreement.
All comments are public.

Back to Top Back to Top

Most Popular Stories