Here’s a surprise. According to a report in USA Today- Journal News “Implicit Bias” starts in Preschool. A Yale Child Study Center study asked teachers which student would require more attention? 42% said Black boys. 34 % said White boys. 13% said White girls, and 10% said Black girls.

The findings also revealed that this intensifies once they know more about a child’s Walter Gilliam, the head of the study explained it thusly. “Implicit bias is like the wind – you can’t see it, but you can sure see its effects”, and that implicit biases “do not begin with black men and police.”

They used two experiments.

The first had teachers watch videos of students they were told were exhibiting “challenging” student behavior. The researchers tracked where teacher eyes went along with other factors. They were also told that the researchers were only interested in learning how quickly and accurately they could detect those behaviors, but didn’t tell them the students were actually actors and that NO challenging behaviors were depicted in the videos. The teachers watched 12 clips of 30 seconds each featuring a black boy and girl and a white boy and girl. When primed thusly, they clearly gazed longer at the boys, especially the black ones.

The second had the teachers read descriptions of fictional misbehaving preschoolers to which fictitious yet accurate (based on the 2011 census) popular names were attached to each: DeShawn and Latoya for the black children and Jake and Emily for the white. When asked to rate the severity of behavior, they rated “white” kids more severely, (as in it was more unexpected). In 2005 it was found that preschool boys were expelled 4.5 times as often than girls.

This study again shows that bias against boys, especially black boys has not been adequately dealt with. About 20 years ago I started researching these issues because of how unfairly I found pre school and early childhood teachers treated my son, saying he needed psychological testing and was probably had attention deficit disorder. They had no idea of how boys developed more slowly than girls, especially emotionally. What I found was that this was commonplace then. (

It seems still to be the case.