Re;To the administrators who think their school couldn’t possibly be contributing to a school to prison pipeline,
To the administrators who feel offended at the accusation, who think it’s a sign of how our society must be devolving.
There are things you are not seeing. Things that are impossible to see without training, and even after training, there are things you are doing that are impossible to undo without explicit help.
So when you say, “Every student who comes in my office, I go by the book. Race is never a factor!” you think that means there is no hidden bias in your school.
Of course you think you aren’t biased. We all do. It’s human. Implicit assumptions are invisible: no on can see their own.
But you are wrong. You are biased.
You cannot trust your gut, you can’t trust what you THINK you see.
This is proven time and again in many trusted, peer reviews scientifically valid studies of human behavior.
But don’t give up.
What CAN you do then? Ask yourself:
Bias In a school begins long before a student appears in your office. And it’s not just you, not just your teachers, it’s all of us.
And it remains hidden to all of us until you do the work to make routinely invisible assumptions beliefs and practices visible.
*Thanks to the CMS principals meeting for the focus on cultural responsiveness and our focus on restorative practices, Making it better, and all of today’s presenters.
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Lisa Gurthie is the PD facilitator at Piedmont IB Middle School. She specializes in tech and arts integration, interdisciplinary holistic education, and unschooling school to reconnect academia to real life. One day she will modernize her "about" page. She curates this blog for the professional development convenience of the teachers at Piedmont, but the editorial comments are her own.