Signs that your child might be facing discrimination at school

On Behalf of | Nov 20, 2023 | Civil Rights

Discrimination in schools is an unfortunate reality that some children may face. Identifying signs of discrimination early on is crucial for addressing and rectifying the situation.

Recognizing these signs can be easier said than done, though, even for the most involved of parents. Knowing what to look for can be a huge first step toward ensuring that your child is having a safe and comfortable experience.

Academic disparities

One of the first signs of discrimination can manifest in academic performance. If your child is consistently receiving lower grades despite putting in effort, it may be worth investigating further. Discrimination can sometimes take the form of biased evaluations, unequal opportunities or even exclusion from certain educational programs.

Behavioral changes

Children experiencing discrimination may exhibit noticeable changes in behavior. Look out for sudden shifts in mood, withdrawal from social activities or a decline in enthusiasm for school. Such behavioral changes could be indicative of a hostile or unwelcoming environment.

Isolation from peers

Discrimination often leads to social isolation. Take note if your child is consistently left out of group activities or ignored by classmates. These situations make it challenging to form connections and may signal that they are facing prejudice or bias. Children thrive in supportive social environments, and persistent exclusion can adversely affect their emotional well-being.

Unexplained physical symptoms

Discrimination can take a toll on a child’s mental and physical health. Unexplained physical symptoms such as headaches, stomachaches or sleep disturbances may stem from the stress of facing discrimination.

The Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights reported a record-breaking 19,000 civil rights complaints from schools for the fiscal year ending September 2022. This staggering number highlights the discrimination that today’s children are facing in school and the need for adults to confront the problem properly.


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