As a matter of practice, we encourage teachers to integrate learning opportunities about religious tolerance and cultural understanding throughout the school year. But this is especially important as the 10th anniversary of 9/11 approaches.
While I share some aspects of my life with my students, one thing I don’t share is that I was born Jewish. I am ashamed of my shame, knowing that Jews, like many religious groups, have suffered because of their beliefs. My shame comes from growing up in a community that seemed to typify every negative stereotype about Jews. It also stems from being silent for years whenever someone made an anti-Semitic comment.
Last week, Teaching Tolerance ran a post from an assistant principal in Illinois. Lamenting the recent spate of anti-Islamic incidents and the rising anti-Muslim rhetoric, she wrote:I immediately wondered how to tackle this head-on as an educator. What would I say to my teachers about how to approach the subject in our history classes? How could I be a participant in a difficult conversation in which some of our Muslim students are directly affected?
My parents stopped patronizing our local cinema when I was a child because they were livid when the theater owner demanded to see a copy of my birth certificate as proof that I could pay the child admission price. The boycott lasted six years. Although it satisfied my mother’s desire to “not give that theater” her money, the theater’s business didn’t crumble. I am not sure it prevented the theater’s management from treating another young girl the same way.
Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Dean Hamer shares how his documentary A Place in the Middle, co-directed with Joe Wilson, can help students see the value of inclusion, the power of cultural heritage and their ability to create a more positive school climate.
Responding to Hate and Bias at School Section One: Before a Crisis Occurs Listen, Watch and Learn When you walk the halls or spend time in the cafeteria—wherever you are on campus—be alert. Are you hearing putdowns and