A senior was telling me today of her recent college interviews with alumni.
A little background here. Our school apparently has a reputation as a "tough" school (translation: people think that because most students aren't white that maybe there are more fights and drugs and gang activity here as opposed to the wealthier whiter schools around). I don't know what people imagine, but I'm guessing they think they wouldn't feel safe at our school. Who knows. I am a perfectly safe whitey, and I teach great kids. The only "poopy" ones are the few bad teenage attitudes in the halls when I (heaven-forbid) ask them to comply with various rules (hats, music, cell phones, wandering...), and I get that from a nice variety of races.
So anyway, this one alumni to interview her lives here, and one of her first questions was: "So is ____ a tough school?". My student replied, "yes, all the classes I'm taking are pretty challenging." (not knowing her implication). The lady asked again, apparently, in another way, and my student defended our school. Woot woot.
We then proceeded to be verbally angry with this woman. But I guess we're guilty of the same thing as she was at times. When we hear of ______ down the street, our wealthier/whiter counterpart, we conjure up all sorts of stereotypes about their monied existence. Whose misjudgment is worse?