TED Talks

S1 E3 | CLIP

The Education Revolution: Unconscious Bias

In this animated, live-action film, a young boy of color navigates bias in the classroom and its impact on his future. The film also includes the voices of children sharing their experiences, at school and at home, as they grow older.

AIRED: September 13, 2016 | 0:03:15

[Telephone rings]

Boy: Hi, mom, it's me.

I got in trouble again at school today.

Jones: Hi, this is Miss Jones again.

I'm finding your son very disruptive in class,

more so than other students.

Boy: I feel like the teacher doesn't like me.

Other kids do bad things, but they don't get in trouble.

Jones: He's defiant and shows a real lack of respect

for any structure or authority.

Boy: I hate school because the teachers are always mean to me,

and I don't feel like I'm learning anything.

Jones: I'm really concerned about his behavior.

It doesn't bode well for his future.

Boy: I'm always getting in trouble for what I didn't do.

We're going to have to adopt

a zero-tolerance policy, young man.

Boy: School keeps calling my mother,

and she gets really, really mad at me.

What is going on?

You better explain yourself.

Boy: I feel like the whole world is just turned up against me

and doesn't like me anymore.

There are days I get up,

and I just decide I'm not going to school.

Girl: If you go to the park,

like, everybody's always telling me I'm not worth anything,

so what's the point of trying?

[Police sirens]

Boy: I know the cops are watching us,

but we just hope we don't get caught.

[Telephone rings]

Female teacher: Your son's absences are a problem.

They will definitely affect his grade point average.

Boy: I don't feel safe in my class anymore.

Should I assume you're unprepared again today?

Boy: I would always eventually

get picked on by the teacher,

and he makes examples of me.

Girl: I feel really singled out,

and I just try to avoid people

because every time I look,

somebody's always talking about me,

"Oh, she's always getting in trouble."

Boy: But I started fighting more

because nobody wants to hang out around a troublemaker.

The only time I have real friends

is when I'm on the block, so...

That's where I'll stay.

[Telephone rings]

Man: I'm sure you understand

we take our discipline policies very seriously

here at the school.

We need to ensure a safe learning environment for all students.

What are we going to do about your son?

[Telephone rings]