Everyone has heard the typical stereotypes that all Asians are good at math or that all Latino students speak Spanish. These assumptions are considered microaggressions.
What are Microaggressions:
Microagressions are commonplace, daily verbal, behavioral, and environmental indignities which, whether intentionally or not, communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative racial slights and insults that potentially have a harmful or unpleasant psychological impact on the target person or group.
Here are a few examples:
Setting low expectations for students because of where they grew up: “Oh, so Robert, you’re from Montbello High School? You are going to need lots of academic help in my class!”
Scheduling tests and project due dates on religious or cultural holidays: “It has just been pointed out to me that I scheduled the unit test during Rosh HaShanah, but we are OK because I don’t see any Jewish students in the class.”
Assigning projects that ignore differences in socioeconomic class status: “For this class, you are required to visit four art galleries located in the downtown area. The entrance fees vary but I am sure you can afford it.”
Ignoring student-to-student microaggressions, even when the interaction is not course related: “Don’t be retarded! That party this weekend was so gay.”
Assuming the gender of any student. Moreover, continuing to misuse pronouns even after a student, transgender or not, indicates their preferred gender pronoun to you: “I would like for Mike to share her stories related to her life as a young woman growing up in New York City.”
Spanish Honors Society Message:
Spanish Honor Society, run by Señor Vazquez, is working on a project meant to educate members in our community about what microaggression are and how they effect people’s lives and mental health. By educating people on this topic, they hope to not only stop microaggressions in the Lyme-Old Lyme community but help others recognize when someone invalidates another person through stereotypes. Spanish Honor Society has been putting up flyers throughout the highschool school to help educate you about microaggressions; they also plan to put up a poster in the middle school. If you want more information about what microaggression is, check out the video Spanish Honor Society made (found by using one of the QR codes on the large poster in the commons).
To help support their cause, you can order a t-shirt by using the second QR code on the poster in the commons. And remember, even if you think that what you said is minuscule, it can truly impact someone’s day in either a negative or a positive way.