4 Answers | Add Yours
I have been segregated against one time. In interviewing for a position as a vice principal many years ago, I was 28 and female. The hiring panel included 10 people, 4 which were male teachers in their 50s.
The principal in charge of the panel told me although I was likely the best candidate for the position, my age and gender and quest for perfection made me an unattractive candidate to those 4 men. If the principal was willing to tell me that much, imagine what terrible things might have been said behind closed doors! Those men felt threatened that in evaluating them I might have a suggestion for improvement that they didn't want to hear from a younger woman.
Those of us in schools know that much tact can be used in these situations.
I was teaching at that very school. I quit that year and moved out of state to a much better location with a much better professional atmosphere. I am afraid this is likely what happens in most cases of discrimination. People who are good just move on instead of seeking the justice they deserve.
That school currently has an administration that is man-handled by those 4 male teachers. They don't want to move into administration themselves, but they want one that they can tell what to do and they are getting away with it. That school is continuing to grow a reputation of discredited authority figures. I guess in my situation I was lucky.
I once tutored for an agency that helped students that were considered at risk or troubled. I loved my job. All of my students were girls. I didn't think anything of it until one of the girl's brother needed a tutor. Their mother went through their caseworker specifically requesting me. My agency told her I would not tutor male students. I never said that, nor would ever say that, so I went and asked my supervisor about it. I was told that within the agency they did not believe women could teach male students classified as "troubled." (This student was not troubled, he went to a poor public school and could barely read, but he had no behavior or aggression issues.) When I said I strongly disagreed with this I tried to compromise, instead of tutoring at home I said I would tutor at the agency center that way this so called "troubled" kid could be in a neutral environment with security. They denied that motion. I ended up finishing up my few cases and quiting because I was not okay with the situation. As far as I know, the agency still holds the policy but now they explain it to both the clients and the tutors upon orientation. This is not balatant discrimination, but this place called into question my abilities as a tutor based on my gender. They assumed that I would nto be able to handle this young man mentally or physically. Even when I tried to find a way around the possible "safety issue" (which there really wasn't) they still would not budge, stating I was not qualified to work with him.
An incident of what I can ageism occured to me- discrimination regarding my age. I entered a position for which the people whom I was to supervise thought I was too young and inexperienced, nevermind that I had 10 years experience. They disregarded what I said, made sure that every suggestion was voted against, and basically tried to push me out of the position. However, the way I solved the issue was by sticking to my skills and making tasks differently so that they had to change their usual way and had to listen to what I had to say. It worked in the end, though grudgingly, but they realized that age does not make you better nor worse than anyone.
I am a white woman that has a large family. Most people assume that all my children are white. My husband and I have adopted children and raised foster children. Therefore, my family ranges in skin hues and races. I once entered a lunch setting and over heard someone make a derogatory statement about my husband being black. He isn't, but I could hear the people putting me down because they thought that he was. Whenever I would enter a room with the teachers they would act nice to me like nothing had been said.
One day a year later I overheard the same teachers talking again. They were saying how nice I was to have taken in the poor black children. I was more upset about that because I realized that I had been demoted originally because they thought my husband was black, now they knew he was not. They had elevated me because I had taken in "black children." I realized then that they did not see my black children or black friends at the same value as a human as I did.
I stay working there for a long time, but I was more aware of how different I was as a person. I know that people can not be forced to change but must see someone lead by example. Did I ever hang out with those people? No way. I chose friends who thought more like me.
We’ve answered 317,523 questions. We can answer yours, too.Ask a question