The following email was sent to parents of Bridgeland High School students on Feb. 8, 2021. This "activity" had been planned for Feb. 17, 2021, but was delayed due to winter storm school closure. Notice has not been provided as to when the rescheduled date will be, nor has the school provided an opt-out, in effect making student participation compulsory. The video in question was produced by the Center for Leadership and Ethics at The University of Texas at Austin and uploaded to YouTube by McCombs School of Business with the accompanying description: "Implicit bias exists when people unconsciously hold attitudes toward others or associate stereotypes with them." The video is just over 8 minutes long, but is filled with problematic rhetoric. To quote, at 3:38, "I think that if you are anyone--to be blunt--that is not a white male, you potentially feel that implicit bias. Maybe you're just looking for someone who is like you because you like you, and so you want to be around more people like you. But what's really rooted under that is that you potentially don't think that someone else is as smart or as capable, and that is coming from a place of implicit bias." At 4:44 an animated drawing of a group of predominantly white (possibly all-white, difficult to ascertain in a cartoon) Americans dutifully follow a troll-like creature wearing a shirt emblazoned with the word "BIAS," as they march past what appear to be Civil War statues while dressed in American flag t-shirts and hats and carrying a Confederate flag. Over angry crowd noise and the strains of "Dixie," the narrator warns, "Even if the IAT cannot predict the future conduct of any one individual on a given occasion, it still indicates how groups of people will act on average, and that is worrisome." Apparently the irony of using biased stereotypes to prove bias and stereotyping is lost on the video's creators, and on the administrators/educators at Bridgeland HS who are planning to use this propaganda as a "No Place for Hate" classroom activity. A copy of the text of the email is included below.
Bridgeland HS strives to have every child on our campus feel valued and part of our educational community. We believe this is important in order to accomplish our mission of educating all our students. We are a designated "No Place for Hate campus" and have been for the past two year. Our next No Place for Hate school wide activity will be on Wednesday, February 17, 2021 during advisory. The topic will cover implicit bias. We will be showing the following video and then having a class discussion under the direction of the advisory teachers. Please view the video and talk to your child about this topic.
Implicit Bias | Concepts Unwrapped - YouTube
Assistant Principal (Mf-Pr)
Bridgeland High School
Submitted: Mar 28, 2021