Perspectives is an Arlingtonian segment in which students share their own experiences surrounding an issue that impacts the Upper Arlington community

Photos by Grace Call, Ayah Elsheikh and Dylan Carlson Sirvent

Q: What are the consequences of stereotyping?

“Stereotyping people can make them feel bad about themselves for something they can’t change. People used to say I was too innocent to understand anything, which hurt my feelings because I was excluded from conversations. A lot of other people also stereotyped me for being a nerd just because I wear glasses.” —sophomore Penelope Clark

“I don’t feel like [stereotypes in UAHS] are as prominent as in other schools. I feel like in other schools, it’s more segregated by certain class of people. In inner city, there might be more Hispanic people hanging out together and more Black people hanging out together. Here most people are white, so you can’t diverge from the norm.” —senior Jeremie Boyaka

“[When] stereotyping people, you’re going to think they’re inferior. And so then you get racists like Dylann Roof who shot up the South Carolina church. He went out and said basically that he hated black people—that doesn’t happen without stereotyping.” —junior Caleb Thorne

“I spent six years [attending] an international school in Saudi Arabia. There were kids from all over the world. A lot of them were the children of diplomats or missionaries. They’d come with their own stories and their own ideas. It broke every stereotype there was in the book. Stereotyping harms your opinions and your outlook on life—you confine yourself into an echo chamber. I have a lot of people assume that I know everything there is to know about all the conflicts in Saudi Arabia or the Middle East, and that I’m going to be able to answer any questions with a hundred different references and resources. I think everyone stereotypes at first glance, but it’s really you overcoming that stereotype that’s important. Like the second thought, ‘Oh, put that aside,’ not the initial reaction.” —senior Lujain Assaf

“Sometimes some of [my teachers] just assume I’m from Korea, but I was born in Ohio. Or they assume some stuff about how I live in my house. But with my friends, we all tease each other about stereotypes, and it’s not like they’re making assumptions about me.” —junior Jaykuhn Song

“Sometimes if I’m with a group of Asian friends, people might look at me and think ‘Oh, she’s a white person.’ Like no, I’m actually mixed. I don’t like that people assume things about me. I feel like [stereotyping] removes the individuality of a person. I don’t have any right to assume unless I want that person to assume things of me too.” —junior Sonia Mustric

“Yes, but it’s not the kind of stereotyping you see in other schools because UA isn’t as diverse. So, not racial stereotyping. But I think there is a big divide in UA between rich and not so rich, especially with south of Lane and north of Lane. There’s definitely stereotyping but not the kind you think of in a high school.” —senior Paige Greenberg

“I think stereotyping is bad because then people think you’re trying to be mean and then they hate you. Making jokes about stereotypes with good friends if you know they won’t get offended is okay, but if there’s any little chance of it hurting anyone, it’s unacceptable.” —freshman Roman Manganaro