There seems to be this widely-held assumption that every so-called at-risk teen out there is of certain ethnicities, or speak a certain way, and so…

There seems to be this widely-held assumption that every so-called at-risk teen out there is of certain ethnicities, or speak a certain way, and so on. Why is this so important? I’ve known teachers and parents who assumed that because students in one certain group were considered honors students that they weren’t “at risk”, or even worse, that if they’re of a race that isn’t associated with “at-risk teens” or “delinquents” or some such term that they’re not troubled. But the reality is completely contradictory to this assumption. Anyone can become “at-risk” (in quotes because I have some problems with this term, but more on that later). Some people are just so inclined to hold idealistic notions of their children that they put on these sort of blinders and don’t see that their children might actually be in trouble. And I guess I can kind of understand where that might come from; it’s difficult for some people to get past a view they hold of someone they love. People who say that stereotypes arise from so-called facts are usually just using that as an excuse to keep using stereotypes to degrade or generalize unfairly about a group of people. They don’t just degrade, they blind us to the condition of an individual. – Allyson

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