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
A few years ago, I was called to translate by a social worker at a primary school. A teacher had complained that one of her students never looked her in the eye when spoken to and was painfully shy. The child never participated in class unless it was obligatory and only under duress. She was frequently absent, particularly on days when she had to make a presentation before the class. However, the student was very bright, with excellent grades and careful, neat work. The social worker wanted me to contact the parents and arrange a meeting to discuss a special education placement.
Everyone is worried—rightfully—about what seems to be a cross-country epidemic of bullying. The problem may be nationwide, but the solution has been left to the 14,000 school districts and the 50 states. Because we all know that bullying in Oregon is a lot different from bullying in Georgia, right?
Hundreds of guest workers are lured to the United States under false pretenses. They are ruthlessly exploited by the labor contractors who bring them here. Their U.S. employer turns a blind eye to this exploitation. And the contractor bullies the workers into paying fees and taking out loans that keep them in virtual slavery.
Among the baby pictures, reports on summer activities and other news reported by my many former students on Facebook, I saw this status update about a week ago: “… it’s good to see fear-mongers called out for spreading misinformation …”
A new third-grader arrives at your school. He is blind. He is autistic. He is developmentally delayed.
How does your school deal with the special needs of this child?
Last night, two children, Max and Sarah, vacationing at their grandparents’ home in Boca Raton, Florida, traveled far, far away from there. They landed in Piwniczna, a town small enough to be summed up in a single sentence on Wikipedia:
“Piwniczna-Zdrój [pivˈnit͡ʂna ˈzdrui̯] (until 1999 Piwniczna) is a town in Nowy Sacz County, Lesser Poland Voivodeship, Poland, near the border with Slovakia, with 5,744 inhabitants (2004).”
See if this educational goal for first-graders offends you:
“Understand human beings can love people of the same gender & people of another gender.”
It’s widely understood that African-American kids—and other children of color—get fewer opportunities in life than white kids. But still, it is jarring to find that perception overwhelmingly confirmed in a survey of adults whose jobs involve helping children.