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Eagles Philosophy, Stereotypes

School Wide Expectation: Stay Positive, Act Respectfully

Lesson Focus: Names DO hurt!

Purpose of the Lesson

1. Review last week’s lesson of bullying and identify WHY some “I’m only joking” nicknames are
rude and unacceptable
2. Define stereotype and identify some of the common classifications of stereotypes that are used to
judge people
3. Discuss when stereotypes are rude and meaningless

SEL standard(s) met: 1B3a; all of 2

Discussion Points
These discussion questions can be used for discussion purposes, role-plays, for writing prompts, or for topics of debate to
teach appropriate ways to argue a point.
1. “Stereotype? What’s that…some kind of new sound system?”
Interesting guess, but a stereotype is “a too-simple and therefore distorted image of a group,” (American
Heritage dictionary), such as “Blondes are stupid.”
2. C’mon. You telling me you’ve never had a” blonde moment?”
We’ve all done stupid or crazy things, but the idea that people with blonde hair, as a group, are ALWAYS stupid is
a stereotype. That’s where we get back to the bullying and name calling Flames Philosophy of last week. Many of
our relationship issues are based upon a distorted perception of a group of people. We’ve classified them all
together, based upon some physical, mental, or emotional characteristic. Have YOU been stereotyped?
3. “Ummm…yeah. I didn’t much like it. I’m not like they said.”
That’s exactly the point. Sometimes, a few people seem to fit the stereotype, and the next thing you know, it’s
applied to everyone. Stereotypes are based on ethnicity, gender, race, religion, physical appearance or some other
characteristic. The key part of the definition is the “oversimplification” part; the idea that a characteristic in one
means that the judgment applies to ALL or MOST people who share that characteristic. All blondes are not dumb.
All women are not bad drivers. All Hispanics don’t eat beans. All African Americans are not rappers. All tall
people are not basketball players. All heavy people are not lazy, and all thin people are not anorexic. All students
who don’t do homework are not slackers. All teachers are not mean. It’s the ALL label that causes the problem.
Lukancic has some bullying issues where students don’t realize that they can’t judge by a person by some
characteristic. This results in the stereotype being perpetuated and internalized (continued and believed). However,
every one of us does this, without thinking. That needs to change!
4. “Yeah, but if we do it without thinking, how will we know we’re doing it?
We have to train ourselves to catch ourselves stereotyping others. The easiest way for now is to catch yourself
when you think or say these two words: “most” or “all.” Then challenge your belief: is it really true? How is “All
students have a right to a safe school” different from “All students are uninterested in learning?” You don’t have to
say it aloud for it to be a stereotype; just thinking it is enough to internalize (confirm) your belief. Unless you
actively challenge that belief, nothing will change, and we’ll just keep on hurting each other with our words and
Reinforcement Activities
1. When a student self-corrects an “all” or “most” statement, recognize it immediately and offer verbal
2. When a student challenges an “all” or “most” statement, reward that student with praise and SPARKS.
3. Model the behavior. When you catch yourself making these statements, use it as a teachable moment.