Here’s Why One Latina Is Asking For White Educators To Stop With The Whole ‘Stand And Deliver’ Screenings
Adriana Heldiz, a writer for Voice of San Diego, is tired of educators showing the movie “Stand and Deliver” at predominately minority schools. In a commentary piece titled “A Latina Student’s Plea: Please Stop Talking About ‘Stand and Deliver,'” she expresses her frustration at white educators who don’t take the time to learn who their students are and instead try to “inspire” them to overcome problems with a movie.
Heldiz isn’t saying the people who use the movie to inspire students are bad at their job — they’re just tone deaf and quite possibly lazy. Heldiz does think people should watch the movie at least once because it is an inspiring story.
Here are Heldiz’s five main points about why it’s time for some educators to abandon “Stand and Deliver” and actually work with their students.
1. “It’s old, cliché and downright offensive.”
Heldiz argues that white educators at minority and low-income schools use the movie to calm themselves down when dealing with students that have been deemed poor, violent, or dumb. She also argues that by using the movie to try and motivate themselves and their students, these teachers are creating a “white-savior complex” to orchestrate some kind of inspiring result.
2. Instead of inspiring students, the movie shows them that the teachers thinks less of them.
“By showing this movie, it confirms your students’ worst fears: that their teacher thinks less of them and defines them by the struggles they face,” Heldiz argues.
3. “Not to mention, ‘Stand and Deliver’ conveniently sidesteps some of the bigger reasons students struggle, like being labeled as English-learners.”
She argues that by allowing for kids to participate in bilingual education, they can take advantage of learning more in their native language while learning English instead of being relegated to a class that leaves them behind the curve so they learn English.
4. Jaime Escalante, the teacher who inspired “Stand and Deliver,” was also against bilingual education in California schools.
“Unfortunately, a vast majority of your students probably didn’t have access to bilingual classes, thanks in part to the fact that the teacher who inspired ‘Stand and Deliver’ fought alongside those on the conservative right to keep bilingual education out of California schools,” Heldiz wrote.
5. She offers some advice on how to get through to these same students without relying on a dated movie: get to know them.
“Engage them,” Heldiz wrote. “Learn something more about them than their names and test scores. I guarantee they’ll be more willing to learn from you.”