Tag Archives: Implicit bias

Heather Griffin on Why White Parents Shouldn’t Be Threatened by Ethnic Studies

by Ari Robin McKenna

This is the fourth in a series of articles featuring the words of local ethnic studies educators who are doing work to address systemic racism in our classrooms. To read the first, on Amanda Hubbard, click here. To read the second, on Bruce Jackson, click here. To read the third, on Shraddha Shirude, click here. To read the series intro, click here.


Editor’s Note: The following article includes a discussion on the racist attitudes some teachers harbor towards BIPOC students. This content might be disturbing, so we encourage everyone to prepare themselves emotionally before proceeding. If you believe that the reading will be traumatizing for you, we suggest you forego it.

If ethnic studies were to become an integral part of Seattle’s K–12 public education system, as Heather Griffin hopes, it could result in a profound shift away from systemic racism, led by youth, towards a more equitable future for this city. But for this to happen — sooner rather than later — Heather knows many of Seattle Public Schools’ white parents will have to reckon with their doubts, reason through their concerns, and reach for an understanding of the deeper fears they may be gripped by but hesitate to give voice to. Heather Griffin knows, because she has.

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The Sleep-Walking White Ally

by Jasmine M. Pulido


I filled out a survey asking me if I’ve experienced racism firsthand.

I almost laughed. I replied into the text box, “Where do I even start?” 

I wanted to reply with the shorthand, “TMTM” (“Too Many to Mention”) like you would in high school, but with an entirely different connotation. Instead, I started to list them as succinctly as possible to get a real handle of what this looked like on paper. This was only for experiences at my daughters’ predominantly white school as a parent of color. There are more outside of it (#ManyMore #TooManyToMention).

The survey brought it all up again. 

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Renton Residents For Change Seeks City’s Active Commitment to Anti-Racism

by Carolyn Bick


Joseph Todd has been pulled over six times in as many months this year. Every time he’s pulled over, he says, the law enforcement officer inevitably asks the same question.

“He pulls me over, pulls me to the side, and the first thing out of his mouth is, ‘Is this your car?’ And my answer, once again [is], ‘Yeah, it is,’” Todd recalled, describing his most recent interaction with a state trooper.

Todd, a Black man, is the City of Tukwila’s Chief Information Officer, but he lives in Renton. Todd said he doesn’t speed, and he certainly wasn’t guilty of what the officer accused him of doing most recently: driving without a seat belt on.

“[After he pulled me over,] I took my seat belt off so I could reach over and get my registration and everything out of the glove compartment, and then he proceeds to tell me he saw my seat belt flapping in the wind,” Todd said. “In my car, if my seat belt isn’t on, it pulls itself back into the wall of the vehicle.”

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OPINION: Why Does Seattle Public Schools Spend $3.2 Million on Security Guards?

by Kayla Blau


A seven-year-old Black student was put in a chokehold by a white school security guard at Stevens Elementary in March, right before schools closed due to COVID-19. The incident further exposed Seattle Public School’s commitment to punitive policing of students, a dangerous practice that fuels the school-to-prison pipeline.

KUOW reported that the student was screaming “I can’t breathe!” while the security guard, David Raybern, held her in an illegal restrictive hold with his “right forearm across her neck,” the article noted. Principal John Hughes was present for the abuse and did not intervene. 

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OPINION: What Teachers Should Know About the Experience of Being a Black Student in Seattle Public Schools

by Ramone Johnson 


My name is Ramone Johnson and I’m 17 years old. I’m from Illinois originally, and ever since I’ve been to school out here in Washington, any situation in school has been blasted way out of proportion. I want to share my experience to help students and teachers understand each other and learn to value every student and make schools a better environment for everyone.

I started recognizing I was being treated differently as one of the only Black kids in my Seattle middle school. The school administration and security guards came as hard as they possibly could towards me. If I called out the way they were treating me differently than other students, they would call me disruptive and send me out of the classroom. It’s like they wanted to prove a point when I refused to adapt to their environment. I watched them give some students extra time to finish assignments, and they wouldn’t do the same for me. What made him better than me? We were both students that needed help. Instead, they’d treat me like a terrorist. They’d have the cop and school security guard following me around all day and blame me for things I didn’t do.

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Reflections From a Cop’s Kid

by Roy Fisher


I am a cop’s kid. My father was the first African American to retire from the Washington State Patrol. Knowing what my father had to endure to reach that milestone, it is with a sense of pride that I write those words. Twenty-five years, I can only imagine what he went through. My father started a Black Law Enforcement group to support the many African Americans to wear the badge. I grew up with a profound love and respect for officers. My godfather, also a police officer, was shot during what he thought would be a routine traffic stop. The story goes that if the gun had been a larger caliber or he had been a little closer he would have died. While my father was never shot, he did total his patrol car during a chase. I have an intimate understanding of the risks associated with being a police officer. 

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