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Refuting stereotypes through 'Not in Our Schools'

Original post made on Apr 1, 2011

"Not everyone is smart." "Not all Jewish people are rich." Students at JLS Middle School offered those suggestions when asked to name stereotypes they thought should be "dissolved" or "buried."

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, April 4, 2011, 8:37 AM

Comments (18)

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Posted by Christian
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Apr 1, 2011 at 5:08 pm

The one group it seems is OK for everyone to be against are Christians. We are not all Palin loving, Tea Partier, non everything dull people, y'know.


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Posted by Alfred E Newman
a resident of Atherton
on Apr 1, 2011 at 5:51 pm

Refudiatin'?

Web Link


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Posted by Tired of this
a resident of Barron Park
on Apr 2, 2011 at 5:48 pm

This is nothing but BS. It is just one more way the district wants to look good, but in practice is not the same.


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Posted by also very tired of this
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 2, 2011 at 6:02 pm

TIred of this,

I agree

pompous ignorance,

let's not make any of "them" feel bad, not in our school!

RELAX people,

the percentage ignorant bigots does NOT change, it is just HIDDEN better


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Posted by Los Altos Dad
a resident of Los Altos
on Apr 4, 2011 at 9:59 am

Hi Christian,

Never complain about people "being against" Christians.

Either be happy that you are in the company of saints or take it as constructive criticism. Maybe there's something about your religious views that you haven't realized is arbitrary and hurtful to others. While there may be absolute truth, we're not going to know it by closing our eyes to others and just believing something.


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Posted by K
a resident of Barron Park
on Apr 4, 2011 at 10:30 am

The lesson is the person 'hating' on you is the real loser. It is sad that they don't know we are all different and it is ok. that is what makes us unique.


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Posted by JustMe
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 4, 2011 at 11:04 am

I wonder if a new approach could be taken in the social studies classes, of having students explore their ethnic roots for positive historical examples of why their ethnicity is something to be proud of. First, the students should identify the ethnicity they feel identifies themselves, and then they should research that ethnicity for its contributions to humanity for as far in the past as is required. Who are their ancestors, where did they come from, who are notable individuals and why are they notable. Sharing the findings later on would teach others of your ethnicity, and garner respect for it hopefully.

The kids should not focus AT ALL on the negative aspects of their ethnicity, but should focus on its positive side.

I remember all the Polish jokes when I was a kid, and then I read Jame's Mitchner's Poland, learned more about their history, and have a different attitude towards them.

Jewish kids should be pointed to "The gifts of the Jews" by Thomas Cahill for example, and realize that the whole world owes a great debt to their ethnicity.

All it takes is an education to change an attitude, even one you have about yourself.


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Posted by surprised
a resident of Community Center
on Apr 4, 2011 at 11:28 am

I don't understand the "nothing but BS" comment. How can we be against helping our kids be tolerant and kind to one another?


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Posted by DZ
a resident of Terman Middle School
on Apr 4, 2011 at 3:58 pm

Hi Los Altos Dad,

What is your "absolute truth"? Whatever it is, when it is "absolute", it sounds "extreme" to me. What we should teach our kids are tolerance and respect of diversification. Not the kind of aggression behavior you are showing here.

Peace and Appreciation.


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Posted by Marie
a resident of Gunn High School
on Apr 4, 2011 at 5:19 pm

NIOS is a useless effort to "cure" intolerance in 5 days. No mention was made of the racist hate messages written on a black teachers door in March. The little Gestapo divas were upset because some adult dared to challenge their very sexist play poster. Most parents felt that it was most inappropriate for a high school campus. But sex sells and they wanted to put butts in the Little Theater seats. So what's wrong with objectifying females to sell tickets? Are the inmates running the asylum? Where were the adults who were supervising this activity? What a shame? What a pity? Children need guidance and supervision. Yes, high schoolers are children.


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Posted by Paul
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 4, 2011 at 5:26 pm

Yes, I saw one of those posters and couldn't believe my eyes. Was the drama dept. staff asleep at the wheel? Did they need to stoop to such sexist garbage to sell tickets? Gunn's drama productions are well known and usually excellent.

What did the new principal think of this trash being displayed on her campus & in the community?

Who is running the show at Gunn? The kids or the adults?


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Posted by Larry Cohn
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 4, 2011 at 6:02 pm

Not all stereotypes are based on ethnic heritage.

It is a short step from this kind of harassment ("half-breed b***h") to more egregious forms of bullying to which school administrators generally turn a blind eye. From there it is a short trip to the train tracks at East Meadow. If you think harassment and bullying only take place in Bubbaville, think again. It's a slippery but dangerous slope.


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Posted by lived on both sides
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Apr 5, 2011 at 6:30 am

I have lived in the south and I have lived here.

The only difference is that in the south, you know who the haters are and can deal with them.

Here, they are more hidden, "underground", and thus more dangerous.


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Posted by circus
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 5, 2011 at 8:55 am


THe kids are smarter than this,

many know the "drill" and don't pay attention to the self-promoters that have to make a big deal about not being bigots

I agree with Christian, that there are certain categories of people to whom "not in our schools" has the other meaning

people forget that african-american, hispanics and some Chinese are among the highest populations of Christians.

these kids will not speak openly about their religion, but can see through the hypocrisy

the circus around these programs can get very silly indeed



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Posted by Ethnos
a resident of Professorville
on Apr 5, 2011 at 11:42 am

Intolerance will not be tolerated!


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Posted by Christiaan Huygens
a resident of another community
on Apr 5, 2011 at 11:44 am

"The world is my country, science is my religion."
-- Christiaan Huygens (1629-1695)


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Posted by Good Work Tabitha
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Apr 4, 2014 at 9:49 pm

Last week 3 public meetings and many more (we don't know how many -- how about some reporting) private meetings between stakeholder groups, former board members, and others (don't know who, how about some reporting) were held about the superintendent search.

Instead of a story about that, which is newsworthy, the Weekly has published what is essentially a district feel-good press release about a bullying prevention program. The story never mentions, not one time, the problematic last 2 years on the bullying front. If you were not familiar with that history you would read this story and believe that why, Palo Alto is a model district on anti-bullying efforts.

I don't know what you are thinking but frankly this falls far below the standard that we have come to expect from the Weekly.

Report on the superintendent search process. What happened in those meetings? Did your reporter attend them? What did people say? Did bullying by any chance come up? Hard to believe it didn't and hard to believe that this story reflects the full reality here.

Not in Our Schools is a great idea. How about making it a reality? Not so much.


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Posted by Alfred fan
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Apr 5, 2014 at 1:09 pm

Thanks to Alfred for his refresher on refudiating. It seems that this program is about refudiating intolerance and descrimination. I'm good with that. Perhaps we should coin "rescrimination" to describe it.


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