Virginia K-12 Teachers Earn Certificates After Learning About Black Microaggressions

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Nine Virginia public school teachers earned certificates Saturday after learning about microaggressions black students could face in the classroom.

Teachers in Albemarle County received certificates for completing the third annual Cultural Diversity Conference hosted at Monticello High School, reported NBC29. The program strives to decrease the achievement disparity between students of various ethnicities and backgrounds.

“Sometimes we push out microaggressions that causes a reaction for students to shut down rather than be motivated,” Albemarle Public Schools’ executive director of community engagement Bernard Hairston, who wrote the program, said. “And oftentimes those are just common-day statements that we make that we don’t realize they are intentional and are unintended statements that cause reactions.”

While nine teachers earned cultural diversity certificates Saturday, eight Albemarle educators have earned them in the previous three years.

“It’s a really reflective internal journey that calls you to really look deep inside and think about what are your assumptions and biases,” Kale Elementary School assistant principal Ben Allen said.

Allen has also received a certificate from the program, which took him a year to complete.

“The school district is taking this seriously, which makes me feel better as a person and more comfortable as a black male in Albemarle County, so I really do appreciate this,” Albemarle High School junior Marquan Jones said.

While it now seems to have permeated down into K-12 schools, microaggression education is typically seen at the university level. Some universities are still hosting microaggression seminars, despite the end of classes. (RELATED: School’s Out But Microaggression Workshops Are Still In)

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