Counterpoint: Does gender bias exist among students and teachers at Schreiber?

Priyanka Ninan and Ali Verdi, Staff Writers

The existence of gender bias at schools has always been controversial.  Fortunately, Schreiber does not demonstrate discrimination based on sex.

Unlike many other schools, all clubs and sports teams are open to both boys and girls.  Whether it’s the hockey team or the cheerleading team, boys and girls are permitted to try out and become a part of the team.

Equal opportunities are widely available to both genders inside and outside of the classroom.

Different types of gender bias such as seating boys and girls on different sides of the classroom and favoring one sex over the other do not exist at Schreiber.

“I don’t think that gender bias exists at Schreiber because in basically every class I’m in, I feel like my

 

teachers make an actual effort to involve everybody in the discussion or in whatever else is going on in class,” said junior Lylia Li.  “Even if the discussion or activity is more directed towards boys, my teachers almost always get the girls to be a part of it too.  There aren’t really any existing stereotypes that apply in the majority of my classrooms.”

Teachers try to include both boys and girls in classroom experiments and demonstrations.

For instance, when a teacher is running an experiment and has three boys that raise their hand, the teacher will try to encourage girls to join in on volunteering.

“I would say that I always try to call on boys and girls equally but in a class like French where it’s mostly girls, it’s harder,” said French teacher Ms. Cherie Delio.  “I always try to get the boys to participate, and I focus more on them in French class because there are less of them.  And when I make up sentences on the board, I always try to make sure that I have an equal amount of boys and girls’ names in my examples so that there is a good balance.”

The same can be said for class discussions when teachers try to even out the participation from both sexes.

If there is any gender bias that occurs at Schreiber, it exists primarily because of the students and their social norms.

The closest thing to gender bias at Schreiber is due to the students’ acceptance of social norms.

Taking a look at certain sports teams, it is clear that the girls don’t try out for the football team and boys do not try out for the badminton team.

This, however, is not necessarily because of restrictions as to who can try out, but because of social expectations that have been created by the student body at Schreiber.

In fact, in the past, students have rebelled against these societal expectations, trying out for sports teams that are otherwise entirely composed of the opposite sex.

Even Schreiber’s elective-based physical education system does not favor either sex.  Students are allowed, if not encouraged, to take any gym class whether or not it is associated with the opposite sex.

For example, Schreiber’s dance class and wadvanced strength training class are offered to both genders despite being stereotypically associated with only one.

“I think that everyone is definitely given an equal opportunity to participate in whatever classes and clubs they want,” said junior Erica Andrews.  “Any imbalance of gender representation in a specific club or class is more of a choice of interest thing than a limitation.”

Many teenagers have been influenced by the media, which has determined the social expectations within our school.

Many of today’s popular movies depict the social norms of guys being athletic, while girls are shown to be physically weaker.

In other words, it is acceptable for girls to not play sports where as it is expected of guys to be involved in some type of athletic activity.

Schreiber is one of the few schools that doesn’t fall under this stereotype.  At our school, it is not abnormal for a girl to play sports all year or for a guy to be uninvolved in the athletics department.

The students at Schreiber are lucky to be in a learning environment in which gender bias does not exist with regards to their classrooms, sports teams, and after school activities.