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 Lynching in America 
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I have been looking at the postcards and reading the stories and it is down right dreadful viewing. To see people posing with murdered people like they were some type of game is horrifying. I think about Dr. Bryant's class and wonder why don't we teach the truth. When is the appropriate time to share this with students. This is part of our history, a shameful one at that, but maybe showing these mistakes that were made can make an impression on our students today. What do you all think?


Mon Nov 16, 2009 9:23 pm
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Steve, I think you do have to consider age-appropriateness; however, I tend to show my students more and talk about more controversial issues than most teachers that I work with. I think that it's more about the climate you have created in your classroom and the respect and empathy that you have instilled in them before you ever begin. It seems when I am honest with my students they ask me questions that are naturally tough but age appropriate in the sense that they have brought them up. I remember in SS with Dr. Bryant someone said they would never discuss mess buckets with 4th graders. While reading the novel Soft Rain, this topic was addressed. We actually went deeper into it than the novel did because my kids were curious and concerned. I had no parent upset, no child scarred; it was a very honest, innocent, empathy-filled discussion.

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Erika M. Nelson


Tue Nov 17, 2009 6:57 pm
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Erika, I agree that it totally depends on the climate within your classroom.
The truth is our students see far worse on tv with the lies and fiction. I do believe that we should age-appropriately teach the truth. We also read "Soft Rain" and my students had many quesitons about the "White Man's Disease," and we had a frank discussion about what that may have been like for Green Fern as she was locked in the Stockyard. When we build relationships with our students and their parents, we can teach the truth within reasonable limits.

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Holly Timberlake


Fri Nov 20, 2009 11:05 pm
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I agree Holly, kids do see way to much on TV these days. TV and some video games are absolutely horrible for young children to view. On the other hand you have parents that monitor everything their child watches or reads about in books. At my school we have had some of our books challenged because a particular parent thought it was not age appropriate. Then we will have parents question why that same book is not in our library bc they read it as a child. I do see the need to monitor what children see to an extent. On the flip side parents that monitor everything end up causing their children to sneak around to read or watch particular things. So then the child may read books that they know their parents wouldn't allow. So as a librarian I try to keep in mind the age appropriate concept when ordering books, while trying not to censor every little detail.

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Shea Richey


Wed Nov 25, 2009 8:40 pm
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Some of my children live in situations that are just as bad as posing beside dead people. One day last week, several of the students were telling about a shooting in their neighborhood. They were in their beds asleep when then were woken by gun fire. From what I have heard from other people, the police won't go down there. On a Friday afternoon, the parties have already started. These children live in fear and have seen things I have never seen or been around. We have to take into consideration what the children already see and know when we decide to take that leap into unchartered waters.

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Debra Shook Manasco


Mon Nov 30, 2009 3:01 pm
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I agree that we need to teach the truth, but I'm not sure I would want to show my students what we have seen. I feel like it is up to their parents to show them the graphics, but it is up to us to plant the seed of digging the truth up.

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~Raye Lynn


Mon Nov 30, 2009 9:02 pm
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I'll never forget when we had a lockdown at the beginning of school and I just had my kindergarteners in hte room. We hadn't even discussed this yet in hte classroom, but this thing was for real and I had no clue why it was happening. We had to lock all of our doors and it just happen to be when the kinders were going to Block classes so that they to stay in the room with me. Not one of them got scared and some of there were laughing and casually talking about a bad guy or monster outside. I just thought it was kinda sad that they are exposed to so much now that something like this didn't phase them!

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Melissa Ervin


Tue Dec 01, 2009 9:09 pm
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I agree Steve. Those images will burn in our memory forever. I think that the reason we don't teach the truth is because we are always we are afraid that we will offend someone. This day in age people are sue-happy and always looking for ways to be offended. I think that many of us don't like to discuss controversial topics out of fear, even though those very topics are the ones that need to be taught if we don't want to see some of those very things happen again.

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Sun Dec 06, 2009 12:37 pm
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Justin, I think it's more than just fear. I think we as teachers don't like to be out of control of a situation and when you deal with some of those truths, it's hard to anticipate how students will respond. You also don't know how parents will respond and that's scary. It's also difficult to talk about things that we don't know much about. We tend to avoid those subjects because we don't want our students to think that we don't know everything.

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Tara Gilleland


Mon Dec 07, 2009 8:37 pm
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