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 Hate-motivated crimes/violence 
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A question I would like to ask everyone is: how are you going to keep hate-motivated violence out of your classroom/school? After reading the story of Matthew Shepard's death I became angry that people actually think it is acceptable to kill another human being based on their personal preferences. Killing others is not the answer to the so called problems with society. The reading referred to the argument that "she asked for it" was along the same lines as people saying Matthew Shepard "should have known better." Why do people blame the victim? Was it really necessary for Matthew Shepard's death to be so cruel and violent? I am just wondering what everyone that knows about the Matthew Shepard story or read the text in the book thinks. Also, what is everyone's answer to my first question about hate-motivated violence?

In my elementary classroom the word gay will not be used inappropriately. During my practicum experience I have heard this word used by students to describe others (a boy was using the color pink to make a heart and another boy called him gay for using pink), and I find it very disturbing. I just wanted to ask the student if they knew what the term gay meant. In my classroom everyone will be accepted and there will not be discrimination in my classroom. What they learn at home or outside of my classroom might be different, but they will learn to respect all others while in my class.

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Heather L. Heath


Tue Apr 21, 2009 12:34 am
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Exposure. I'm going to give them as much exposure as I can get away with. I think a lot of the discrimination and confusion about sexuality etc come from a lack of understanding. I'd show The Laramie Project. If a student can see the full range of things involved with discrimination, they'll probably understand it better. I watched The Laramie Project my freshman year of college in a theatre class, and I don't know a single person who didn't walk away from that room with a new and different perspective on prejudices. Obviously this kind of approach wouldn't be appropriate for young kids like you were talking about, but the whole thing is a cycle so maybe helping older kids understand/come to terms with their prejudices will reflect on the younger kids. Most of those young kids just sort of adopt older siblings/cousin's/parent's beliefs...if they're big brother called them gay because the little brother used a pink crayon for something, little brother is going to imitate it. If big brother has a better understanding of it all, he's probably going to be less likely to call his little brother gay (as a funny insult or whatever) and hopefully his little brother will learn by his example.

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Natalie Brady


Tue Apr 21, 2009 12:35 pm
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The best way to fight against prejudices is EDUCATION! If you are educated and become more aware of the differences of people you become more accepting of others and their different beliefs. I would that my students would have so much hate in them that they are violent toward others. Having an open discussion or a debate about subjects helps the students learn more about differences. I would be willing to have my students do a debate or research project on a topic I know is controversial, this way they learn more about both of the sides and become more educated in the subject.

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amy butler


Tue Apr 28, 2009 1:35 pm
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