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  • Steven Delpome

The Minority


Whenever people defend institutionalized schooling, often they will point to the number of children that are succeeding in school. And there are.

But if there is a majority that is doing well, there also must be a minority that are suffering due to the structures and hierarchies of school. And there are.

If, when we used the word “minority” in the above sentence, we were referring to an individual race or gender, we’d be ashamed of ourselves for allowing to happen what was happening.

But because in this case it applies to a swath of children across racial, gender, and wealth divides, School feels more comfortable ignoring the suffering of that minority. Quite often School will even apply characteristics to the children in this minority that are shockingly similar to those that have historically been applied stereotypically to racial/gender minorities in our society.

“Lazy”

“Unmotivated”

“Doesn’t want to work”

“Loud”

“Obnoxious”

“Lacks executive function” or “just kids” (each of which suggests a biological inferiority)

School will quote the Bible: “spare the rod; spoil the child”

“Clothing is inappropriate”

“Most of them are really nice, but those few spoil everything.”

“Doesn’t know her place”

But because School is talking about children, we deem it okay, even vital to treat this minority in this way.

...maybe just ask yourself if you've ever taken this sort of tone when discussing a child in school: