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
This will be the 10th year of participating in Mix It Up for Kirbyville Middle School. We have decided to hold a Mix It Up Day each quarter of the school year, rather than just once a year. We held our first one this school year on Friday, Sept. 17. Students picked a playing card from a deck of cards and sat at the corresponding table. I had placed several conversation starter questions at each table.
Yesterday, Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly appeared on the television show The View. There, he got into a heated discussion about building a mosque in lower Manhattan near Ground Zero with Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar. They eventually walked off the set in disgust.
This morning on Fox & Friends, host Brian Kilmeade decided to weigh in on the matter, predictably calling Goldberg and Behar cowards. He then added, “Not all Muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims.” Later, on his radio show, Kilmeade said that this was simply a “fact.”
"The Trouble with Tuck by Theodore Taylor,” I began to tell my class, “is an important book to me because it was one of the first that I read again and again.”
I held up the 100-page paperback book for my students to see. A couple looked as if they might laugh at me, showing off a kid’s book. But I continued to tell them how the main character, Helen, trained a guide dog to lead her first dog, Tuck, when he went blind. Despite my fear that talking about books would create opportunities for put downs, I soon heard rumblings through the classroom as students dropped names of their favorite books.
My first year of teaching in middle school was an onslaught of reading quizzes, vocabulary lists, lunch duty, reading skills and faculty meetings. It didn’t really leave a great deal of time for reflection other than the simple thought that I wasn’t quite living up to my ideal of changing the world through teaching.
A legal settlement reached in Los Angeles Tuesday could reverberate through schools in low-income neighborhoods across the country.
The Board of Education there approved a deal with the American Civil Liberties Union and other groups that would radically limit the practice of laying off teachers based solely on seniority.
There is a growing generation gap when it comes to LGBT issues. A recent poll showed a roughly 50-50 split in public opinion over the issue of gay marriage. But when age was taken into account, the results shifted dramatically. Nearly six in 10 Americans under the age of 50 think that gays and lesbians have constitutional right to marriage.
There is a wonderful scene in Harper Lee's novel To Kill A Mockingbird where the all-white jury has returned an unjust verdict against Tom Robinson. Atticus begins to wearily walk out of the courthouse. Jem and Scout are in the balcony with the black folks of the county. They all rise as Atticus walks out—except the children—so the Rev. Sykes says to Scout, “Miss Jean Louise, stand up. Your father’s passin’.”
September has been a grim month. Three boys—15-year old Billy Lucas in Indiana, and 13-year olds Asher Brown in Texas and Seth Walsh in California—took their own lives after being subjected to relentless anti-gay bullying in school.
And then, just one day before this miserable September ended, news came of another tragedy. This time, Tyler Clementi, an 18-year old college student, believed it was better to jump off the George Washington Bridge into the Hudson River 600 feet below rather than live through being outed and humiliated at the hands of his homophobic roommate who streamed video of Tyler’s sexual encounter with a “dude” for the world to see.