Stereotypes, Prejudice, And Discrimination In American Schools

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Stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination has existed in America for thousands and thousands of years. Even though it is evident today that it has diminished, it is not completely vanquished. In fact, according to FBI data from 2,800 police departments, “thirty-two states revealed 4,755 bias-related crimes” (“Strategy: Diversity,” 2). Being different, whether it be race, color, gender, religion, or sexual orientation, is something that people in society seem to fear because they do not understand it, and as a result, stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination arise. To help further reduce and prevent intolerance of differences, society should make stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination a subject in American schools because it assumes all people of a certain race or gender act and behave the same way, it prevents the advancement of groups of people, and it makes incorrect generalizations about individuals.
American schools need to educate about diversity and tolerance because stereotypes make assumptions that all people of a certain race or gender act the same way. For example, according to Judith Ortiz Cofer in her essay “The Myth of the Latin Woman: I Just Met a Girl Named Maria,” Latin women are commonly misportrayed as sexual objects, as uneducated, and as housemaids or waitresses. However, this “myth” is not true for all Latinas. While it is true that Latin women earn less education than white women, more Latinas today are graduating high school and are enrolling in college. Cofer, a Puerto-Rican born woman, has an education and is now a poet, a novelist, and a professor at the University of Georgia. Latin women are mistaken as sexual icons because of their choice of clothing, but their choice of clothing “is custom, n...

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...n innocently found guilty and killed just because of their looks and society believing they are perpetrators based off of false stereotypes. If schools were to promote acceptance towards all people, society would be able to better avoid forming negative stereotypes which could lead to prejudice and discrimination.
In conclusion, it is obvious through everyday life and from past history that it is still very important that society and the government address the issues of stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination, and promote tolerance and respect for all people by implementing curriculum and practices in American schools. However, what students learn in the classroom needs to be reinforced by the examples their parents set. Educating students about other races, gender, religious, and cultures help them understand and accept people who are different from themselves.
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