LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

You Spoke, We Listened

Reader responses to Teaching Tolerance articles and resources.

From excitement about our new digital edition to frustration over the need for more school support around rerouting the school-to-prison pipeline, readers share their thoughts.

EXCITED TO TRY NEW LESSONS!

I am excited to try the “Stop! Boxing Bears? What’s the Meaning?” lesson. Our eighth-grade class is struggling with judgment, bullying and unfair treatment of those who are different. I am also anxious to use and adapt the lesson “Are Those Who Produce Happy Meals Really That Happy?” as part of a lesson about the trends in diets of our young people. “Buttoned Down” will give my kids information for class debates and simulations of decisions made over uniforms and dress codes. I love your magazine and am so happy that it was chock full of great additions to the curriculum I am developing! 
Angie Grimm
Phoenix, Ariz.

 

HELPFUL RESOURCES AFTER TRAGEDY

As someone who has been a teacher for 14 years and had to help my first-graders cope with 9/11 and so many tragedies since, it is comforting to have the support and leadership from Teaching Tolerance that we so often lack. Prayers are with the victims of the shootings [in Newtown, Conn.] as well as the teachers who, like all of us would have done, gave their lives to protect their students.
Ruth Luevanos
via Facebook

 

DOING UNIFORMS THE RIGHT WAY

I am an elementary school principal at a school with 450 students and a poverty rate at just under 70 percent. Four years ago, we piloted a “standardized dress policy” to level the playing field for all students … Discipline issues decreased tremendously, and a strong sense of community was established. We give students many choices as to colors, types of pants, etc. … This allows parents to find clothing at many stores, new or used. We also established a clothing bank in our school where parents often trade out their children’s clothing they have outgrown. Discipline comes in the form of changing into appropriate clothing (from the school clothing bank), a phone call home or note stating the child came to school dressed inappropriately. I have never had to suspend a child for not following the dress code exactly, nor would I. School dress policies can be successful by using common sense, keeping the right perspective and working with families. 
Christine Hess
Logansport, Ind.

 

LOVING TT ON THE GO

[The digital issue] saves paper and reinforces the need to recycle and care for Mother Earth! I love it! Plus, it goes everywhere I go and can be easily referred to. Glad to see the magazine digitally.  
Georgina C. Perez
El Paso, Texas

 

APPRECIATED PIPELINE INSIGHTS

I just finished [Michelle Alexander’s] The New Jim Crow and was astounded to see what happens to Michael et al. in the lengths of that pipeline, years into their futures. Thank you for addressing kids’ needs in the classroom so teachers can help them avoid getting started down that destructive route.
B. Eisinger

 

REROUTING PIPELINE FOR THE CLASSROOM

Just writing to say that I loved the piece on Rerouting the Pipeline. I plan to hand it out to my [pre-service teaching] students and discuss it in my class today!
Sandra Hughes-Hassell
Chapel Hill, N.C.

 

NEED A BULLIED PACKAGE

The film Bullied impacted my school by showcasing bullying and name-calling and how professionals need to take a stand. I wish the kit included more supplements and activities for staff. I would like best practices for teachers to approach different situations. Thank you for offering so many great resources.
Amanda Persico
Baltimore, Md.

Editors note: Check out Bullying Basics for an overview of all our anti-bullying resources.

 

FACEBOOK COMMENTS:

Janet Niethamer
I love you, TT! Keep up the great work!!

Carol Partington
I love this publication—free to teachers—also many resources online.

Lonna Pierce
Fabulous free teaching materials! You rock! Thanks so much.

Jennifer Thomas
I love your print publication! I’m old school and prefer to read hard copy print. I just received your Spring 2013 issue. Awesome!!!

 

READER EXCHANGE:

“The School-to-Prison Pipeline” sparked online conversation. To put any child in prison based on disciplinary measures will never turn a child around but reinforce their intolerable actions.

– Submitted by Tobias A. Weissman

We struggle with this issue at our school. It is especially difficult when students are not succeeding academically and behaviors interfere with other students’ learning. How do we help all students?

– Submitted by Anonymous

 

STELLAR TWEET!

Catherine Allen (@clallenrhine)
Reading @Tolerance_org and can’t wait for the Perspectives curriculum this fall! 
#schoolcounselors  #commoncore

Tell Us What You Think!

Have an opinion about something you see in Teaching Tolerance magazine or on our website? Contact us or mail a letter to 400 Washington Ave., Montgomery, AL 36104.