Sticks and stones…but words…actually do hurt and are destructive.
In order for a young person to learn in school, they need to feel physically and emotionally safe. How can you focus on what you’re learning if you’re being taunted with racial epithets? Teens of color, in particular, deal with racial and ethnic stereotypes that affect their school performance.
Several recent studies by Anthony A. Peguero that use longitudinal data show that race and ethnicity play a large role in school based victimization.
Another study from Peguero shows that Black/African American and Latino students who are victimized at school are more likely to drop out.
Which racial or ethnic group is most vulnerable to being targeted? According to Peguero, Asian Americans and Asian American girls.
Peguero’s research also shows that youth from immigrant backgrounds are also repeatedly targeted.
So that old refrain, sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me? Umm…not true.