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The Need to Stop Stereotyping in Schools

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Stereotyping is a huge problem in society today. In fact, it is everywhere you go, but especially in school. People can be cruel and it can very much affect people in a negative way. According to an article by Shankar Vedantam stereotypes can affect the way that someone performs. In the same article by Shankar Vedantam researchers Gregory M. Walton at Stanford and Steven J. Spencer at Waterloo University in Ontario found that when schools went out of their way to stop stereotypes, the performance of students increased rapidly. Stereotyping at Apple Valley High School is a problem because it makes students feel like they do not belong and it can stop them from exceeding in school resulting in their academic performance being negatively affected. Male Senior Asian American/Pacific Islander students at Apple Valley High School are being judged based on race by people their own age at school.

One Male Senior Asian American/Pacific Islander student at Apple Valley High School spoke up and said that one time he was driving with his mom and he got pulled over and the police officer asked him if he spoke English. This made him feel offended, and disrespected. This was a stereotype threat. Claude Steele, a psychologist at Stanford University came up with this term and it refers to “the risk of confirming negative stereotypes about an individual’s racial, ethnic gender, or cultural group” as stated in an article by Shankar Vedantam and on The Glossary of Education and Reform. In my opinion, I think that a figure of authority who is respected in our community should not assume an individuals dialect based on race. Furthermore, police officers should be respected but we should also receive the same respect in return. How would you feel if you or someone you cared about were being judged based on these types of racial stereotypes?

Stereotyping must be stopped. It is not benefiting anyone in any way shape or form. According to an article by Nicole Beasley stereotyping leads to bullying, stress, and anxiety all which impact a students academic success. According to an article by Shankar Vedantam, he says that everyone can agree that students should work to their full potential and I completely agree. Stereotyping affects the way that students perform everyday activities at school such as socializing, establishing bonds, and how they obtain and receive information. Stereotyping does not allow people to focus and concentrate in class because it makes them feel as if they do not belong. Looking at the data gathered from the stereotype survey conducted at Apple Valley High School that asked students if they had ever been stereotyped, Male Senior Asian American/Pacific Islander had one of the highest percentages of all the students who expressed ever being stereotyped by race. 100% of the Male Senior Asian American/Pacific Islander student at Apple Valley High School felt that they were judged based on race. If 100% of students who identify as Male Senior Asian American/Pacific Islander have experienced stereotyping then we can assume that it is affecting these students academic performance by 100%.

Some of the ways Apple Valley High School could stop stereotyping is by bringing awareness to the topic. Our school can do this through various resources offered on campus. For example ASB is very involved in our school and they can make a huge impact on this dilemma, by announcing different facts about stereotyping and how our student body can fight against it. In addition we could even ask CAMP to make a video on this topic and it could be played during the announcements. We can also have people speak up about their stories when they felt that they were being judged based on race and or gender during a required assembly for the entire school. These are just some of the many ways that Apple Valley High School could break the stereotyping stigma once and for all.

The act of stereotyping is not rare. These examples prove that stereotyping occurs anywhere and everywhere by anyone regardless of race, gender, or authoritative position. Stereotyping is common within our society and at Apple Valley High School and it is our responsibility to change that. I believe that we need to fix this problem as soon as possible as it can continue to affect the academic success and self confidence of students and we can do this by breaking the stereotyping stigma. Change starts when someone decides to speak up, stand up, and act. 

Works Cited

  1. Vedantam, Shankar. “How a Self-Fulfilling Stereotype Can Drag Down Performance.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 2 Feb. 2009,
  2. Beasley, Nicole. “How High School Stereotypes Hurt Teens.” Betterhelp, BetterHelp, 22 July 2018,
  3. Partnership, Great Schools. “Stereotype Threat Definition.” The Glossary of Education Reform, 29 Aug. 2013,     

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