“The discrimination that exists outside of school is also found inside”
Ihe republican school is the foundation of our values. This is where the civic spirit is developed, from an early age. The school is the matrix of equality. And yet, educational guidance is sometimes biased by stereotypes linked to origins, real or supposed. These prejudices heavily affect the curriculum and the destiny of the students concerned. What is true of gender and social origins is also true of ethnic origins.
In any case, this is what many parents say, not without bitterness. When the children are black or Arab, they are offered opportunities that are less rewarding than those offered to students from the majority group. When they have the same grades as the others, at the end of 3ethey are not oriented towards the same sectors.
As a result, the multi-coloured public of the colleges is not found in the high schools which, when they are technical, or a fortiori professional, tend to become veritable school ghettos. Already in 2005, the sociologists Georges Felouzis, Françoise Liot and Joëlle Perroton had published a very interesting book on this subject: School Apartheid. Survey of ethnic segregation in colleges (Threshold).
The phenomenon is not only socio-economic, it is also ethno-racial. Of course, the son of a worker and the son of a lawyer will not have the same chances. But moreover, in many places, with equal scores, the son of a white worker and the son of a black or Arab worker will not necessarily have the same proposals at the end of the class council. For students with very good or frankly bad grades, the question hardly arises: orientation will be more or less automatic.
But for all those, and there are many of them, who have between 8 and 10 of general average, there is a significant margin of subjectivity in the decision, and ethnic biases can play a considerable role. For some, the general stream, allowing very wide outlets; to the others, the technological and professional streams, whose outlets are more limited and less socially rewarding. These discriminating orientations literally constitute the factory of destiny.
Of course, it’s not about making teachers feel guilty. For the most part, they are deeply attached to respect for republican equality. But it is in an unconscious way that, very often, they contribute to this systemic discrimination. Furthermore, it is also possible that parents belonging to ethnic minorities, and sometimes of foreign origin, have less control than the others of the rules and resources of the school institution, which could partly explain the processes of marginalization. that can be seen.
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