Tuesday, December 09, 2008


Going back to our racial sensitivity issue, something happened today that made me feel lucky we haven't had a fistfight already.

I noticed today that one student (a white student) had put up a sign at his workstation that said "I was abducted by aliens" and had a picture of someone being carried by people wearing sombreros. I mentioned it to another teacher who was going to ask him to take it down. Before the teacher got a chance, however, I came across another student (a Mexican-American student) who had taken down the sign, crossed out the word "aliens" and written "crackers." I took the sign away saying "neither this sign nor that word is appropriate at school."

Apparently later on in the meeting between the two students and our administrator, the white student made a convincing case that he really didn't understand what was so insensitive about the sign. The Mexican-American student said that at his old school he would have met the other kid after school and beat him up over something like that.

This is why we need some outside help - now. At least our administrators are on the same page (which is an improvement), but our students desperately need - and are asking for - education on how to live in a diverse society. I've given our school leaders many different names of people who specialize in coming into schools and teaching about diversity, but they have done nothing to move forward. What do I do now?

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