Opinion
Equity & Diversity Letter to the Editor

Teachers Can Help Prevent Discrimination

December 03, 2012 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

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.

A version of this article appeared in the December 05, 2012 edition of Education Week as Teachers Can Help Prevent Discrimination


Commenting has been disabled on edweek.org effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Teaching Webinar
6 Key Trends in Teaching and Learning
As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and a return to the classroom for many—we come better prepared, but questions remain. How will the last year impact teaching and learning this school
Content provided by Instructure
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
Attendance Awareness Month: The Research Behind Effective Interventions
More than a year has passed since American schools were abruptly closed to halt the spread of COVID-19. Many children have been out of regular school for most, or even all, of that time. Some
Content provided by AllHere
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
Ensuring Continuity of Learning: How to Prepare for the Next Disruption
Across the country, K-12 schools and districts are, again, considering how to ensure effective continuity of learning in the face of emerging COVID variants, politicized debates, and more. Learn from Alexandria City Public Schools superintendent
Content provided by Class

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Equity & Diversity Reported Essay What the Indian Caste System Taught Me About Racism in American Schools
Born and raised in India, reporter Eesha Pendharkar isn’t convinced that America’s anti-racist efforts are enough to make students of color feel like they belong.
7 min read
Conceptual Illustration
Pep Montserrat for Education Week
Equity & Diversity Reported Essay Our Student Homeless Numbers Are Staggering. Schools Can Be a Bridge to a Solution
The pandemic has only made the student homelessness situation more volatile. Schools don’t have to go it alone.
5 min read
Conceptual illustration
Pep Montserrat for Education Week
Equity & Diversity How Have the Debates Over Critical Race Theory Affected You? Share Your Story
We want to hear how new constraints on teaching about racism have affected your schools.
1 min read
Illustrations.
Mary Hassdyk for Education Week
Equity & Diversity Opinion When Educational Equity Descends Into Educational Nihilism
Schools need to buckle down to engage and educate kids—not lower (or eliminate) expectations in the name of “equity.”
3 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty