To the Editor:
The recent article “Teachers Are as Racially Biased as Everybody Else, Study Shows” (June 9, 2020) highlights an undeniable truth. We educators have biases that are implicit and, at times, explicit. We all must reflect on these biases to acknowledge our privilege and prejudices to ensure that our views and perceptions do not harm students.
The stakes are too high not to acknowledge, address, and make a conscious effort to eradicate racial biases within the school context as it is our moral, ethical, and professional imperative. In the article, the author of the study states, “Teachers perceive, evaluate, and treat students differently based on their race.” Our biases should not affect student outcomes, but they already do.
We must identify areas of disparity and develop policies, systems, and protocols to curb the epidemic of biases. Schools should be a safe zone where our students are educated and are protected from such injustices. Training is not enough; instead, we must focus on implementation. Educators must use data to identify racial disparities to eliminate bias from education. We must have courageous conversations and ask tough questions about what we are doing as a school, district, and school system to address this epidemic.
We convey messages in our silence and our inaction. Let our actions speak volumes and foster a shift in the status quo.
Kinsley R. Jabouin
Special Education Teacher
New York, N.Y.
A version of this article appeared in the July 15, 2020 edition of Education Week as We Must Take on Bias in Schools