Diffusing Prejudice and Racial Tension in Schools Essay

Flashcard maker : Lily Taylor


Across the world, prejudice and racism have been issues of great concern. The two have been brought by the different backgrounds people come from. Prejudice on simple terms can be understood as an opinion about a person that is preconceived and often not based on reason (Holtman, 2005). However, the same would mean an action or opinion that could not be based on actual experience. Prejudice and racism are major causes of tension between people living together but who come from different regions. Social structures, institutions and other social happenings dictate people to come together interact and exchange ideas. This is however challenged by the forms of racism that exist between this groups. Prejudice based on racism is also a great challenge in association of people.

In different societies, there are different forms of racial and ethnic tensions that are likely to arise from the peoples preconceived opinions about others. Taking a case study of a school based in America, several ethical tensions can be observed. Children in schools show a reflection of the existing ethical differences that appear in societies back from their homes. As well, there are ethical issues that can be observed right from the school children themselves. As mirrors children reflect the ethical issues their parents go through (Pine, 1990). Examples of this tensions that exist in the American regions include, disparities in employment. This reflects on poor wage remuneration and which in turn leads to poor or relatively low standards of living. With this differences, children in schools undergo exactly the same as they relate with their peers.

In schools, there exists the tension of fear and hopelessness. Children might suffer from the intrapersonal stressors discussed by Betty Neumann’s theory (Nuemann, 2012). This results from the inner self where an individual suffers from low self-esteem or even from the fear of the unknown. This is mostly manifested in children as they are more vulnerable to the conditions. Correction of this situations requires primary interventions according to the Neumann’s theory (Nuemann, 2002). This is because symptoms of being affected are yet observed. Some of the primary intervention required to correct this condition is by providing canceling. Guidance and canceling serves best for school going children in developing their esteem levels and dealing with racial and ethnic tensions. This targets primarily the purpose of minimizing the effect of the stressor and giving the body a stable condition and coping mechanisms.

Another form of tension that exists is the deteriorating image of some the races. Taking a case study in a school where there are different races. We can observe that from the racist ideas groups are likely to portray a bad image on others (Holtman, 2005). Children learn greatly from socialization. This means that if parents were racists then there exist a possibility that the children be socialized to racism. Children move to schools with the same attitudes having been socialized to those grounds. An example is the image to some white groups that Africans are monkeys or simply evolved from monkeys. Once a child is socialized to such a belief they grow up holding on to the same and they keep this spirit for lifetime. Manifestation of such teachings will be seen in schools and job areas.

Poverty can also be a cause of racial and ethnic tension especially where one race is associated with poverty. Poor people take the bottom part of any part of the society. Be it in education, social status and economic grounds (Grace, 2003). In the education sectors, children from poor back grounds are likely to perform dismally in tests and in general school evaluation. This can be attributed to psychological problems they undergo as children. Performance in school children is likely to depend on the mental and psychological conditions that individual undergo from their homes. If from poor backgrounds, children are likely to be faced by distress resulting from lack of some basic needs in their backgrounds. Comparing themselves with other children from well up families the expose themselves to suffering from low self-esteem. With low levels of self-esteem in children, general performance is likely to drop both in school and in other activities (Nuemann, 2012). All this conditions can be linked to levels of poverty that can cause ethnic tensions in schools.

A case study in American schools shows evidence of racial and ethnic tensions in schools. This are the times when the minority Latinos were excluded from authoritative and political systems (Pine, 1990). This effect came to a full blow to the adults but as well manifested itself in school children as their parents were affected. As a minority group, the Latinos were face with a challenge of raising their concerns and thus lived as depressed sub group in the society. This was too mapped in the school going children and could be readily observed.

Other ethnic and racial tensions in schools in America have resulted to the overlooking of immigrants. With the increasing numbers of immigrants in to the states, there has been a negative view about them. Immigrants have been mentioned or used as scapegoats for the stagnating developments that occur with time (Pine, 1990). Every evil that happens or a failure be it in the economy or the education sectors is blamed on the immigrants. This has affected school going children and as a result led to even poor performance in the schools.
Vanderlization of businesses for the non-Americans in the region resulted to racist and ethical issues. This was also joined with assault of persons within the country and even school children assaulting others in schools. This was based on race differences that existed between the adults. From the grown-ups, the same altitudes were mapped directly into the school children and they have kept them for ages.
On an effort to determine levels of prejudice in schools, we come up with a program that will at the first stage propagate prejudice so as to observe the extent to which the school children will enhance prejudice levels. On the school teaching program we introduce a racial program that sees students from one race benefit from a given form of benefit either from the government or from a personal sponsor. This means that there will be a form of division into two groups in the school. After this spirit has been impacted on the children we embark on a canceling program to eliminate the same vice.

Firstly, a list of materials has to be prepared that ought to be used in the canceling program (Dessel, 2010). The canceling is basically focused on developing social connections between the students so as to bring back relationship ties. Among the materials prepared include, we develop the child in mind. Developing child in mind means coming up with a connecting story that brings together the two groups that have separated over time. This can be achieved by creating a happy story in stressful times and narrating it to the children.

The second material prepared is the child in psych. This is achieved in elaborating the connections between kids their moms and relation to anxieties. There is a need to bring up the issue of cyberbullying as a material for use. This takes kinds minds out of their own towns and they develop a connection with other people that are not from their area of origin (Pine, 1990). It’s of great importance that as a material the heart of school canceling is displayed. This means that we show the favorite things in schools and connect them to importance of a canceling program. Realistic examples like school bulling on the bus can also be used as a material to guide on connecting the two groups back.
For this to be effective, a counselor embarks on a 10 minutes lecture. This in cooperates segments where students are allowed to contribute and participate. This is to help the students consider the impacts of prejudice. On our lecture, we look at preparation programs that can be given to school pupils. We begin by analyzing human growth and development. The facilitator displays the importance of coordination between various groups of people that contribute to growth and development. From this analysis we show the students that human beings the same growth and development channels and that they are equally the same. This aids in putting of the levels of prejudice that are likely to exist among the students.

The second bit is giving a social and cultural diversity. On this level, we allow the students to participate and give views on what they think about other cultures. From the participation, we note the levels of prejudice and what it has impacted. The facilitator at this stage makes an understanding of different cultures to the students. This enables them deal with their differences and create an understanding of cultures.
Consolidated efforts between the facilitator and the students work on creating and, maintaining group relationships, professional relationships and how to assist them. Together with this, we bring in the issue of legal and ethical standards that exist (Grace, 2003). At this stage, we also take an interactive segment where the students give views about the ethical standards that exist. This brings out the evils of prejudice that might have occurred with time giving possible and permanent remedies to them.

The facilitator can also decide to work on planning of career development. Here the students too are given opportunity to share and give views. Each student documents their views and the views are later shared among them. From the interaction segments, students are shown the importance to do away with prejudice and learn the equality concept. As Martin Luther king says, it is the time we realized the dream that human beings are equally the same.

Within this segments, we develop strategies that aim at reducing ethnic tensions. This is also with a focus on resolving the conflict of prejudice. We here by develop strategies that address the sources of prejudice. This is either individual or institutional. We address the issues of discrimination in situations and the existing contexts in which the participants learn to live and work (Holtman, 2005). We look at the grounds where prejudice is rooted either historically and or in social contexts. We focus on contextual forces that can be under taken as well as institutional forces in developing and implementing strategies that improve group relationships.

At this stage we introduce several resources that the councilor can use to deal with prejudice and the impacts it brings to school.

Pang, V. O. (2001). Multicultural education: A caring-centered, reflective approach. McGraw-Hill, an Imprint of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc., PO Box 182607, Columbus, OH 43218.

This is a teacher’s guide story which focuses on real life examples that illustrate key concepts of discrimination and culture. It also looks at social justice and how they affect diverse classrooms. This is a written controversial framework based on culture roles and the learning process.

Dessel, A. (2010). Prejudice in schools: Promotion of an inclusive culture and climate. Education and Urban Society, 42(4), 407-429.

This article describes the prejudicial altitudes. It intends to explore how this altitudes contribute to problematic relations between groups in the public schools.

Stephan, W. (1999). Reducing prejudice and stereotyping in schools. Teachers College Press.

In this book, Stephan brings out a wider view of the social programs that are designed to increase racial equality. The book also explores other problems in society that include racial, ethnic and cultural groups.

Lynch, J. (1987). Prejudice Reduction and the Schools. Nichols Publishing Co., PO Box 96, New York, NY 10024.

In this book, the author explores sets of prejudice and how they are reduced. It is focused on the center of democratic school references to cultural diversity. The book also provides sufficient information that is intended to help teachers to achieve greater awareness of their own values and extend their professional objectives.

Liese, J. (2004). The subtleties of prejudice: How schools unwittingly facilitate Islamophobia and how to remedy this. ConfrontingIslamophobia in educational practice, 63-76.

In this book, the writer reviews practical educational programming. This is with a focus on developing the sense of self in society. Much of the content given here is based on the encounters between Jewish and Arab students and the intercultural education in Europe.


  1. Grace, G. (2003). Educational studies and faith?based schooling: moving from prejudice to evidence?based argument. British Journal of Educational Studies, 51(2), 149-167.
  2. Holtman, Z., Louw, J., Tredoux, C., & Carney, T. (2005). Prejudice and social contact in South Africa: A study of integrated schools ten years after apartheid. South African Journal of Psychology, 35(3), 473-493.
  3. Pine, G. J., & Hilliard, A. G. (1990). Rx for racism: Imperatives for America’s schools. Phi Delta Kappan, 71(8), 593-600.

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