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Racist dating video sparks difficult conversations among CPS students

Chicago Sun-Times Education This Week
Education This Week is our weekly recap of the biggest news in education affecting the Chicago area, Illinois, the region and the nation. Today’s edition was written by Nader Issa, the Sun-Times’ education beat reporter. Follow him on Twitter here.

Good morning,
Our high school experiences shape a lot of our early adult lives. And dating is no exception.
Stereotypes and harmful habits can develop when we’re teenagers and grow from there. We saw that very plainly in a racist video posted by students at Lincoln Park High School a few months ago where teenagers laughed about which races they wouldn’t date.
My great WBEZ colleagues Susie An and Adriana Cardona-Maguigad followed up on that topic this week in a fascinating story with student perspectives. Susie and Adriana asked students whether stereotypes play into dating — in other words, do you or others discount each other as potential partners because of race?
A student who identifies as Filipino-American said, “For mostly Asian students, I’m pretty sure that we are viewed as a fetish. People say, ‘Oh, I’ve never dated an Asian before.’ [They] view us as this completely alien, exotic kind of thing, commercial good that we’re supposed to provide for them.”
A Black student said, “I feel like as a girl, it’s a little bit different when it comes to dating because guys can be really picky. They have stereotypes about different races in their head. Like, ‘Oh, she’s Black, so she’s ghetto. I don’t want to date a ghetto girl.’”
And a few teens drew a connection between those dating stereotypes and microaggressions they’ve faced in classes, like a teacher mixing up the names of two Asian students, or a curriculum that’s whitewashed and doesn’t teach the rich history of Black Americans. Encouragingly, quite a few kids felt they had at least one teacher who was comfortable leading difficult conversations about race. But most said there was room for improvement.
Take a read when you have a few minutes, it’s a great look by Susie and Adriana at a really interesting topic. You can also check out our other top stories of the past week, including a new law signed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker this week that grants vaccinated teachers COVID-19 sick days, and the latest on a controversy at Whitney Young Magnet High School.
Until next week,
Nader Issa, Sun-Times education reporter
Got a question you’d like me to look into? Respond to this email or send an email to audience@suntimes.com and your question may be answered in an upcoming newsletter!
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Nader Issa

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