Many schools, especially those that serve predominantly low-income children of color, model civic disrespect and demand that their students practice submissive obedience rather than empowered engagement. They enact a continuous series of civic microaggressions against their students. These regular but unacknowledged mini-invalidations of children as civic persons worthy of respect are often barely noticeable to their victims – and usually totally invisible to their perpetrators. Together, however, they can cumulatively erode the self-confidence and self-image of those at the receiving end. Urban students’ experiences of these civic microassaults may profoundly influence their civic skills and identity development.
Levinson, M. (2012, March). School culture and the civic empowerment gap. Harvard Education Letter, 28(2), 6-8.