A place for educators to find thought-provoking news, conversation and support for those who care about diversity, equal opportunity and respect for differences in schools

Coffee House Opens Door to Unity

Kathleen Melville - July 13, 2011

I remember the times when I gave up and fought
When I succumbed to the jokes and taunts
Reverting to the man I once was, violent and stupid,
But I won’t let these people manipulate me
I will become the man I want to be

Empathy Builds Foundation for Academic Home

Gwendolyn Eden - July 7, 2011

The transition from middle school to ninth grade creates chaos for students. In eighth grade, students know their teachers and their classmates. They have a safe academic home.

Then comes high school.

Partnering with Students Yields Engaging Rewards

Amanda Ryan Fear - July 5, 2011

“I loved that we had a voice in this class. Kids need to be listened to and they are in this class. I usually feel that my teachers and other students don’t care about me or anyone else, but in here they do.”  

SPLC Two-Day Camp Trains Student Leaders

Michelle Garcia - July 1, 2011

An SPLC team, including staff members from Teaching Tolerance, led a two-day student leadership camp in Sandy, Utah. Nearly 100 students from the four Canyons School District high schools participated in a myriad of activities exploring identity and their understanding of themselves.

Exploring Gender Stereotypes Through Dance

Jill E. Thomas - June 30, 2011

When I took the opportunity to co-teach a mixed-grade level coed dance class, I expected some of the boys to be reluctant to participate in the ballet portion for fear of being seen as gay or at the very least feminine. To cut this off before it started, I used a Teaching Tolerance lesson plan that allows students to explore gender stereotypes. I put labels on each student’s back with the name of a profession. I assigned traditionally male careers to girls and traditionally female careers to boys. Students had to figure out their profession by asking yes or no questions of their classmates. Afterwards, they reflected on their reaction to the assigned profession. This activity set the stage for breaking down stereotypes as we also introduced ballet as a dance form.

Standing for Environmental Justice

Jacqueline Yahn - June 28, 2011

I hear the crunch of gravel beneath my feet and feel the sting of mosquito bites on my legs. In my reverie, I see my brother and me launching walnuts, and I laugh at how lucky we were Grandma didn’t catch us when our aim went awry and hard green shells assaulted the mailbox instead. The farm in my daydream is Dysart Woods’ Farm, which is owned by Ohio University and encompasses 400 acres of farmland and 50 acres of virgin forest.

Melea Has Two Dads – And That’s Not a Problem

Kellie Cunningham Bliss - June 27, 2011

Melea hates school. 

She is 4 years old and was adopted at birth by two gay men. Her dads (Mark and Sam) are Caucasian and Melea is African American-Latino.

Music Creates Wonder and Learning

Trevor Barton - June 24, 2011

"We the people, in order to form a more perfect union..." 

I heard these words for the first time in a song when I was a kid. I was pouring a glass of orange juice in the kitchen when I heard it. Bugs Bunny had ended. I was waiting for Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids to begin. There was the familiar refrain of Schoolhouse Rock in between those cartoons. "As your body grows bigger, your mind grows flowered, it's great to learn 'cause knowledge is power!" And there it was—the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution (or at least a paraphrase of it) in song. I learned it and never forgot it. 

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