Ethnic studies ban leads to depression, low self-esteem, UA study says

Low self-esteem series

Woe is everyone.

Watch out for all 9 million things that may lead to low self-esteem/Ryn Gargulinski

Just when we were recovering from research that said some of Arizona’s English language classes riddled students with low self-esteem, we now learn banning ethnic studies could also – guess what? – riddle students with low self-esteem.

We wonder how any student can even get through the day without curling into the fetal position on the floor of the nearest restroom stall.

Perhaps all these students are suffering from low self-esteem because the researchers say they should be, kind of like the reverse law of positive thinking.

In any event, this time around a couple of University of Arizona faculty members gauged student responses to the state’s 2008 proposed legislation that would have taken ethnic studies out of schools.

This legislation never went through, but the more recent HB 2281 did pass. The latter says schools cannot hold classes or programs that “are designed for a particular ethnic group; advocate solidarity rather than treatment of students as individuals; or promote resentment toward a race or class of people or the overthrow of the U.S. government.”

That doesn’t sound too ridiculous. In fact, it sounds somewhat common sensical.  What is ridiculous is polling students about legislation that never came to fruition or insisting that everything and anything leads to low self-esteem.

From the UA news article regarding 2008 legislation that banned ethnic studies:

The researchers surveyed 99 undergraduates who self-identified as Mexican National, Mexican American/Chicano and measured their responses to the proposed law by noting various factors including civic engagement, stress from discrimination, extent of ethnic or cultural exploration and affirmation, as well as measuring levels of self-esteem and depressive symptoms.

Their results showed that students who had explored their cultural and ethnic identity reported fewer negative health behaviors such as depression or low self-esteem.

OK, that’s fine and dandy. Students can explore “cultural and ethnic identity” all they want. Just because classes are not being offered, and finely funded by the state, doesn’t mean folks can’t learn things on their own.

Perhaps they can learn to combat all this low self-esteem while they’re at it.

Low self-esteem is the new catchword making the rounds. After all, any wrong turn can lead to it, especially in schools. Educators have to be incredibly careful these days or face the wrath of the students, their parents – or even a lawsuit.

A day in court, of course, would just lead to more low self-esteem, as would giving a kid a C instead of an A, even if he really deserves the C.

We are also sure several studies will be coming soon on a host of ridiculous scenarios that could induce low self-esteem, if they have not been done already:

* Banning chewing gum, texting or other forms of “self-expression”

* Quashing the individuality of raunchy or obscene T-shirts

* Dictating draconian rules like no running in the hall or wearing hats in the classroom

Joking aside, we do wonder if other school practices, which really could mess with a student’s confidence, have yet been explored. These include:

* Lining up students from shortest to tallest

* Making girls jump rope while boys play soccer in gym class

* Cheerleader and sports team tryouts

* Getting picked last for the class softball team

* Homecoming court and other such popularity contests

* Pairing hardworking students with lazy sloths in science labs and other projects

* Feeding kids country fried steak in the school cafeteria


The ethnic studies research was headed by Anna Ochoa O’Leary, a UA assistant professor of practice with the department of Mexican American and Raza studies, and Andrea Romero, associate professor in Mexican American and Raza studies and family studies and human development.


What do you think?

Has this low self-esteem stuff gotten out of hand?

Do you suffer from low self-esteem? Why? Was it because you were not allowed to chew gum in class? Please explain.

What other practices at work or school can lead to low self-esteem?


About Rynski

Writer, artist, performer who specializes in the weird, wacky and sometimes creepy. Learn more at
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6 Responses to Ethnic studies ban leads to depression, low self-esteem, UA study says

  1. radmax says:

    Hi Rynski! Miss me? 😉 Heavy ass work load yesterday…made me feel like a pawn in a running dog capitalist game of ‘stomp the worker’-win profit and prizes! The fetal position looked comfortable yesterday…
    Your insight into this matter seems uncanny in it’s direct observation; folks will feel inadequate…if they let themselves. Much easier to blame the world than actually push back.
    While the need for medication in chemically imbalanced brain disorders and real psychological help is clear in some, it is very easy to feel persecuted.
    I feel it daily. 😉 But ‘endeavor to persevere’…the alternative is more frightening than life. Dirt napping is not an option to most. Get used to it, life owes you nothing and would like nothing better than to piss on your grave. Revel in the time we are allotted on this icy sphere.

    • Rynski says:

      ahh, yes, missed you greatly – especially when you come back with such cozy images as ‘icy sphere,’ ‘dirt nap,’ and the desire for life to ‘piss on your grave.’
      beautiful!! hahahahahhahahahahahha.
      i agree that low-self esteem has many origins, some valid and some that simply fall into the persecution category. and yes, blame the world blame the world blame the world.
      sooo much easier than taking a modicum of responsibility for own actions, no? hahahahha.
      thanks for input – and don’t work too hard!
      p.s. if you do decide on the fetal position, please opt for a nicer location than the nearest bathroom stall (hahah).

  2. azmouse says:

    Hey, I was head cheerleader AND homecoming queen….I’m perfectly normal!

    Well…..except for that one time. But it was well deserved and I tried really hard to dispose of the body with dignity and respect……


    • Rynski says:

      actually, those who make the cheerleading squad, sports team and elected to homecoming court – not to mention being queen!! – are not the ones who suffer.
      the potential for low self-esteem goes to those who are never picked for anything special…or even to those who write for the high school newspaper and get their car egged and condomed after they write a scathing column about homecoming court – not that i’d know from experience…..

  3. john kennedy says:

    Self esteem, like all of life, is what you make of it. To all the coddled weaklings out there, “Life ain’t fair. Get over it!”

    • Rynski says:

      here, here john kennedy!!!
      it is amazing how much coddling is going on – how are these people ever supposed to get through anything? they would have a nervous breakdown if their shoelace broke….

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