17 April 2018
Throughout history, society has presented a certain disapproval towards people who struggle with physical/ mental disabilities. In The book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez, the main character, Maribel, experiences resent from her classmates and school faculty as she herself suffers from brain trauma; due to mysterious causes. Ableism in education is present among pears and faculty, hurting disabled students learning experience.
Often when students meet others that have special needs, they tend to physically or mentally abuse/ resent them creating an unsafe learning environment. In the story, Garrett was the neighborhood troublemaker who physically “harmed” Maribel by putting his hands on her inappropriately. Maribel being innocent and clueless had not thought of what Garrett was doing.
Ableism extends to as far as with people of high power. In Maribel’s case, her school administrators showed how their opinion on Maribel’s school presence “affected” other students, which led to her discontinuation and return to Mexico. In the article Addressing Classism, Abelism, and heterosexism in Counselor Education, the writer delves into the various types of discrimination among the classroom setting. One example of discrimination involves heterosexuals and their resent towards non-heterosexuals. Like Maribel’s case, the students present some kind of hidden annoyance to Maribel for being different.
In other cases classism happens to divide students based on their social class. Due to certain “inequalities,” the students tend to form groups with egual or higher level students while creating a barrier against those they deemed lower level students.
HenriÌquez, Cristina. The Book of Unknown Americans. Vintage Books, a Division of Random House LLC, 2015.
Laura Smith, Pamela F. Foley, and Michael P. Chaney. Addressing Classism, Ableism, and Heterosexism in Counselor Education. Journal of Counseling & Development, 2008, Volume 86