Many of the racist jokes that I have been told begin with these five words: three men walked into a. While meant by the teller to be a light-hearted jest, these jokes often draw upon deeply held, painful stereotypes. These jokes-and the stereotypes they explicate-are a part of the history, discourse, and fiber of America. They are often as familiar as bedtime nursery rhymes. It is important to note that the running narratives of American life do not stop at the classroom door. Unlike these bad jokes, the messages and discourses about students don’t begin with an obvious tagline alerting the hearer to what is to follow. Rather, they seep quietly, almost invisibly, into the practices, dispositions, and policies of schools and classrooms. It is because these messages are so subtle that educators must be on guard and, when detected, must take a vigilant stance against them. Three brief examples may bring greater clarity.