News Story

Oakland County teacher training: You may already be guilty of microaggression

Believe in hard work, opportunity, and America? Those are micro-aggressions, according to two school districts in Michigan’s richest communities

A joint training session for teachers that took place Aug. 1-2 with Rochester Community Schools and Bloomfield Hills Schools reveals a view of the world many Michigan residents would find unrecognizable.

According to training documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, the following statement is made up of micro-aggressions:

You people should know everyone can succeed in this society, if they work hard enough. In fact, America is the land of opportunity and the most qualified person should get the job. Gender plays no part in who we hire.

A slide document from the training defines micro-aggressions as “brief and commonplace daily verbal, behavioral, or environmental indignities, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative slights and insults toward people based on race, gender, religion, age, sexual orientation, disability, or national origin.”

The training materials include a two-page list of micro-aggressions:

  • “I believe the most qualified person should get the job.”
  • “Men and women have equal opportunities for achievement.”
  • “Gender plays no part in who we hire.”
  • “America is the land of opportunity.”
  • “Everyone can succeed in this society, if they work hard enough.”
  • Saying, “You people …”
  • Being forced to choose Male or Female when completing basic forms.
  • “There is only one race, the human race.”
  • “America is a melting pot.”

Michigan Capitol Confidential asked Rochester schools spokeswoman Lori Grein if the district agrees the statements are micro-aggressions. After publication of this article, Grein provided a statement:

"Rochester Community Schools will provide a district climate that prohibits acts of harassment or bullying, and eliminates prejudice and discrimination. All Rochester Community School District members have the right to be safe, valued and respected....

We recognize that systemic inequities exist that create educational equity gaps among various identity groups, specifically those who have been marginalized.

Through a multifaceted approach of inclusion, we commit to creating opportunities and access, protecting the well-being of all, eliminating barriers, and educating within a safe environment where all individuals are valued, respected, included, welcomed, and acknowledged."

Bloomfield Hills schools did not respond to a request for comment.

It is unclear if the teachers who attended the training will teach the materials to students in class.

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.