Latino Youth Hopeful Despite Stereotyping In Schools

Speaking Out: Latino Youth on Discrimination in the United States

National Council of La Raza

Many Latino teens feel regularly stereotyped in school, especially by teachers and administrators, and therefore often find themselves viewed by their peers as “others,” this study says.

Teens from Los Angeles, Nashville, Providence, and Washington, D.C., shared with the researchers their experiences with discrimination. One girl from Nashville noted her frustration with being placed in an ESL class even though she could fluently speak English, just because she was Hispanic. Another said that many of her administrators don’t expect her to graduate because of the color of her skin, and that she’ll “just work in construction or something.”

Such discrimination and stereotyping was found in each of the cities surveyed, and was not limited to school. The teens emphatically described feeling unfairly and habitually profiled by law enforcement, especially in juxtaposition to their white friends. The report says law enforcement typically holds negative stereotypes surrounding Latino youth involvement in gangs and crime, which “compound feelings of vulnerability and distrust within their community” among teens. Hispanic youth also feel as though the workplace is the site of unfair racial practices; youths from all four cities told stories of their parents working for less than minimum wage for hostile employers.

Nevertheless, the study concludes that many teens are optimistic about the role of education in their lives, and see education as a necessary step on the path to thriving careers. Many are motivated to succeed academically by the high expectations of their immigrant parents and a desire to contribute to the Latino community. They glean inspiration from their parents’ hard work as immigrants, and hope to provide their children with better lives.

Free, 72 pages.

Previous Coverage:

Obama Expands Effort to Boost Hispanic Higher Ed

Blacks, Hispanics Trail in Higher Ed; Women Lead


Youth Today is the only independent, internationally distributed digital media publication that is read by thousands of professionals in the youth service field.

Youth Today adheres to high-quality journalistic standards, providing readers with professional news coverage dedicated to examining a wide spectrum of complex issues in the youth services industry from legislation to community-based youth work.


Our organization retains full authority over editorial content to protect the best journalistic and business interests of our organization. We maintain a firewall between news coverage decisions and sources of all revenue.


We are committed to transparency in every aspect of funding our organization. Donors may be quoted, mentioned or featured in our stories. Our news judgments are made independently – not based on or influenced by donors. Accepting financial support does not mean we endorse donors or their products, services or opinions…(read more)

Recent Comments




Kennesaw State University Mountain Logo & Ceneter for Sustainable Journalism Logo
LOGO Institute for Nonprofit News 3 turquoise boxes stacked in "J" shape

Copyright © 2018 Youth Today and MVP Themes --- Published by Center for Sustainable Journalism,
Kennesaw State University, 1200 Chastain Blvd. Suite 310, Kennesaw GA 30144

To Top