Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Study Type

Mixed method

Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School for Social Work


Microaggressions, High school students-Social conditions, Teacher-student relationships, Racism in education, Bystander effect, Subtle racism, Aversive racism, Disrespect from teachers, High school, School climate, School connectedness, Bystander intervention, Bystander support, Bystander responses, Person-centered analysis, Mixed method


The present study examined the relationship among high school students’ experiences of microaggressions and disrespect perpetrated by teachers and their perceptions of school connectedness and projections of their own bystander intervention behaviors. There is reason to believe that peer bystanding behavior, defined as either intervention in the moment, or active supporting after the event, are protective in terms of the otherwise cumulative impact of microaggressions. Using interviews from seventeen high school students, and quantitative data from nine participants, this research prioritized the voices of students, their narratives, and their meaning making process after such events occur. Findings suggest that participants with low scores for school climate might be in the best position to "take the risk" of intervening (in the moment) in situations of subtle racism and that students who have a more comfortable perception of school climate might be likely to prioritize classroom harmony over a sense of justice.




123 pages : color illustration. Includes bibliographical references (pages 92-102)

Included in

Social Work Commons