What Schools Can Learn From Sephora’s Response to the SZA Racial Profiling Incident
Educator Barnes
June 10, 2019

Recently, singer SZA took to social media to call out Sephora, a Paris-based beauty store, about the treatment she received while shopping at one of their California stores.

This tweet caught the attention of Sephora, and they tweeted back to the singer.

Sephora did more than apologize. The stores were shut down for a day for inclusion training.

Now, what if all schools were shut down for a day to do the same? Too many children in schools across America do not feel included at their school, and some of them feel targeted by staff and are mistreated. How can a child learn effectively if he or she doesn’t feel included or feels mistreated? An unlimited stream of viral stories of racial ineptitude shows that our schools could probably benefit from some training sessions. 

Honestly, one day isn’t enough. I even question the one-day Sephora training. Some people don’t want to accept others who are different from them, so that is one issue. Second, some people want to change, but one day of “training” probably isn’t going to change much. A single day of training does not seem like enough for people to truly overcome unconscious biases.

It is a work in progress that must continue through the year and across future years. This is hard work. We need more than surface level responses. Shallow, bandaid responses will only lead to people reverting back to previous actions. This is not good for society or our schools.

That said, it’s important that we at least recognize that the implicit bias that leads to high profile cases of racial profiling like these, also exist in our schools and we need to be taking steps to address that fact.

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