ASU gains approval to host larger presentation about microaggressions

Laneya Christian, Staff Writer

The ongoing issue of microaggressions in the Manhattan High School community will be the topic of a professional development session for MHS staff presented by members of the Asian Student Union on Feb. 21. 

The idea of meeting with teachers to discuss this topic has been in the works since last fall. 

“We have been working on our presentation for a while now,” ASU co-president Jecca Park, senior, said. “The intent is to present to teachers and spread awareness about students facing microaggressions and negative experiences.”

Throughout the day ASU will present to staff members in divided grade groups. ASU wants teachers to know that microaggressions are not as rare as people may assume.

“[Teachers] being silent and not calling [microaggressions] out when they see it is more hurtful than helpful,” ASU secretary Sonika Khosla, sophomore, said. “[A presentation is] definitely a start and better than nothing. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing how principal [Michael] Dorst will follow up at this upcoming meeting.” 

To make this change happen, club members will be talking about what they have experienced, what their peers have experienced and what teachers have experienced.

“Our presentation is not intended to be the solution,” Park said. “It’s up to staff members to get more educated on microaggressions and the impact of microaggressions on the Asian American Pacific Islander community.”

According to Khosla, high schoolers aren’t at school to teach teachers how teachers should respond.  

“It’s more of an adult thing,” Khosla said. “We are only kids and there’s so much that we can do.”

ASU hopes these presentations will lead to better experiences within our school and our community. 

“Speaking out against microaggressions allows transgression, which is why immediacy is an important component of correcting bad behavior,” Park said. “In the absence of those changes and understanding, complete prevention is probably impossible.