Speak Up at School

Many of the questions we receive for our magazine column “Ask Teaching Tolerance” are from educators seeking advice about how to respond when someone—a student, a colleague, even a parent—uses biased language or stereotypes in school.

This guide is our response. It’s for educators who want to develop the skills to speak up themselves and who want to help their students find the courage to speak up too.

This guide is for the adults in the school. It offers advice about how to respond to remarks made by students and by other adults and gives guidance for helping students learn to speak up as well. We believe that modeling the kind of behavior we want from students is one of the most effective ways of teaching it.


Use the accompanying pocket guide when faced with biased language and situations:

  1. Print front and back
  2. Cut along the dotted lines
  3. Fold once along the center lengthwise
  4. Fold the right and left blocks with the words “INTERRUPT” and “ECHO” inward
  5. Fold in half so that “SPEAK UP AT SCHOOL” appears on the front
  6. Pocket and reference often