Editorial: The Conflicts of a Stereotype

In the recent article “Bob Marley Fans Accused of Being Potheads?” Principal Phil Gale commented that “kids stopped listening” to the message. Apparently, they stopped reading, too.

The story was very clear in that there was no way Student Assistance Program leader, Mr. Darrin Donmoyer’s message accused anyone of being potheads because they wear hemp. He was making a point that it is society that makes the stereotypes that hemp wearers are potheads, not the administration and not himself.

Comments have been flowing into the Penn Points website that are proving that students still do not get the point. Not only do they lack the respect to listen to the full message, but they also lack the common sense to read an entire story.

Every comment so far has been around the point that the stereotype is wrong. We understand, we get the point, the stereotype is not always true.

Whether people choose to believe it or not, the world has not changed all that much in the last century. There is a stereotype in society that people who wear Bob Marley t-shirts or hemp necklaces are also involved in using drugs. There is also a stereotype that blondes are dumb.

Stereotypes are wrong and difficult to erase, and that is what Donmoyer proved by his message to the students. Students need to step up and accept the fact that this individuality that they hold as being so valuable, can also lead them into trouble.

When social studies teacher, Maria Vita, arrived at Penn Manor, she expected to find a classroom full of hicks with straw hanging out of their mouths, she said. Coming from New York, she came to learn that not all Penn Manor students are hicks.

The students also need to understand that stereotypes are rarely true. Not all blondes are dumb. Not all Penn Manor students are hicks. Not all hemp-wearers are potheads.

In fact, some believe that all jocks are stupid. This year, the Penn Manor football team was featured on FOX43 in a story showing their academic success.

Stereotypes do hurt; no one is refusing to accept that fact. Some people will just have to accept the fact that stereotypes will never end, unless every person in the world understands they are not valid. Certain styles lead to certain ideas or beliefs.

Donmoyer’s actions were not unprofessional, and in fact, he should be commended for the lesson he taught to the students who were actually listening to his message.

Unfortunately, the perception of the Bob Marley t-shirt or the hemp necklace wearer is that they are a pothead. Understand this conclusion is influenced by society. That does not mean cause and effect, which does not make you a pothead. It is a stereotype, repeat, most stereotypes are incorrect.

Stereotypes happen. Stereotypes hurt.

By: Tyler Barnett

7 thoughts on “Editorial: The Conflicts of a Stereotype”

  1. Great job Tyler. The main point of the presentation was to warn students of the perceptions they are creating for themselves; it was not to accuse students of being “potheads.” Stereotypes are often times incorrect, so we need to think before we buy into them. Props to you!

  2. I agree with what Kara is saying, i wanted to add something to that as well. Some students are taking this the wrong way, because they are treating it as an attack against them as individuals. But in reality they are just helping them in future decisions. We can open the door for them but we can not make them go through it. So just be smart about what you do or say.

  3. this was a very good article. i don’t really agree with the stereotypes with the hemp necklaces. but i guess people do think that way but i think they should keep their comments to themselves and stop making stereotypes.
    Nice Article!

  4. There is a reason that Mr. Donmoyer’s statement met such a vehement reaction. Some of us noticed that for students that did not previously make the erroneous association between Bob Marley T-shirts and marijuana use, Mr. Donmoyer inadvertently caused them to make that assumption, thus perpetuating the stereotype.

  5. kids today lack so much respect for the teachers, couldn’t they just shut up and do what they’re told?

  6. This article is very well written. Thank you for pointing out what the students need to learn, listen to everything someone says.

  7. I really enjoyed reading this however, I was one of those people who kind of “freaked” out about the whole situation. I’m glad I know both sides of the story now.

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