A high school teacher from Michigan went forth to challenge the student ban on wearing hats and hoodies in classrooms. The Mathematics teacher went on to call this Ban on students to be “micro-aggression” in a blog he wrote for ‘Enlightened Masculinity”.
The Mathematics teacher – Paul Hartzer, from the Hamtramck High School, says that the ban on wearing hats indoor is much of “a European tradition, and many feel that expecting students of color to learn and follow this guideline is yet another way in which European ‘culture’ is shown as superior to their own heritage.”
He wrote that a “common defense for hoodie bans is that we teachers are preparing students for the ‘real world,'” but it implies that “we’re suggesting that the corporate America model is what they should be striving towards.”
“This is a European model of success, tied to 1950s White Men. It implies there’s something wrong with any other route to success … which is micro-aggression,” he wrote for The Good Men Project, where he is also the lead editor of education.
Hartzer, on the bans on caps and hoodies further said that it is “socioeconomic micro-aggression,” as the not so well off students may find a need to update their wardrobe just to comply with the school’s apparel guidelines.
Although the school administrators are providing a reasonable argument to the ban, saying that it allows the students to hide earbuds and in some cases weapons under their hooded clothing, Hartzer still stuck to his argument saying that by “using logical-sounding reasons to hide a more problematic reason for such classroom bans: To enforce respect through control and appearance.”
“Another very Eurocentric value is that appearance is more important than reality,” he wrote.
He further said that the students who are wearing headphones or earbuds would still continue to be inattentive and uninterested in what is being taught in the classrooms. He further said that even confronting that student would cause the rest of the students to suffer a loss in their routine. He wrote that “Power struggles become an issue of costs vs. benefits.”
School also provided the argument that the hoodies and such clothing may be a mark to represent gang memberships, hence the ban is on point, to which Hartzer responded by asking if the safety of the school is best complied by “reminding students multiple times a day that they’re seen as potential criminals. What does a student of color hear when a white authority figure enforces what they see as a trivial, arbitrary rule?”
“Micro-aggressions against anyone who isn’t an affluent, able-bodied, white, cis Christian man are tragically widespread in our culture,” he wrote.
Ban on hoodies and hats is one of the latest steps in education system’s “disingenuous policies that start with disrespectful implications about our students,” he said concluding his argument.
Hartzer, who is also an English teacher while teaching mathematics in Michigan since 2012, did not return the request for comments till press time.