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 Racism in schools 
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Today we started the discussion about different ethnicities in class. Do you think that this is fair to talk about this in a mostly white population class? Do you think that students should be able to voice their opinions without having to defend themselves or their background because they come from a different background then whites? I for one don't think that this topic is appropriate for a mostly white class. The reason I say this is because we as whites cannot feel or sense how it is like to be within another person's shoes. I know that when I came south that I felt like an outcast, but I was still white and living in a white population. Just would like to know what others thought about the discussion today in class.

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Rachel Lincoln


Tue Oct 14, 2003 3:13 pm
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I don't think that we should avoid this subject just because we are not black, asian, or hispanic. It would be wrong for us to pretend that race is not a problem, or to just acknowledge it and then not discuss its implications in our lives as teachers. I don't have to be black to hug one of my students who was just called the "N" word by another student. We don't have to be able to fully comprehend how something feels to a person to be able to discuss it and learn from it. I believe that we would be doing our future students a large injustice if we choose not to deal with these issues before we start to teach.


Wed Oct 15, 2003 12:25 pm
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I agree with Andrew. It would be wrong to say that we, as whites, can even begin to understand what it is like for minority students, but we have to address the issues so that we are aware of them when we are teachers with our own classrroms full of students. I think that all of us have some sort of racist beliefs, which can be as small as, "Asian kids are good at math," and in order to get rid of these racist beliefs we have to confront them first. We cannot simply ignore them and wish that they will go away and that we will never have to deal with them as teachers, or as human beings. If we don't discuss the issue then how will we ever learn about it?I think we are all adult enough to handle it. Lois, thank you for being so honest yesterday.


Wed Oct 15, 2003 12:42 pm
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How are we to ever learn about and express our feelings about other races if we are not given the chance. We must face the fact that most of our classes have only an average of one to two other ethnicities in them. Does that mean that we are never to talk about race? Also, no one can really say that they are not racist. Everyone has biases, whether it be about certain races, certain classes, or anything else! I had someone come to speak to my floor about diversity and she made some really great comments. She said that everyone has their biases (and pointed out that a big one of mine is stereotyping Florida people) and that we must learn what they are so that we can work to understand why we have them and then work on them that way. Racism is a very touchy subject, especially in an almost all white class, but nevertheless, it should not be overlooked.

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Wed Oct 15, 2003 10:20 pm
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I agree with what you are all saying. We should not avoid talking about race in our class just because we do not have racialy diverse class. I think being in a class with such little racial diversity it is important for those of different races to speak up, like Lois did in class. That takes a lot of courage, but I think it was good for all of us in the class to hear what she had to say, because without her speaking up, we would not have known how she was feeling. Even if we do not understand, atleast I know I, and probably most of the class is becoming more aware of racial discrimination and what other races face. This is an issue that we are going to have to learn to deal with and face... we should not hide from it now just because we are not a racially diverse class.


Thu Oct 16, 2003 11:45 am
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i agree that we should all have a chance to talk about ethnic diversity in the classroom. in a few years, or months, we will all be facing this kind of diversity in our classroom, and our knowledge and experience with discussions about ethnic diversity will come in handy. yes, we are a majority white class, but that doesn't mean that everyone's experiences with other ethnicities are the same. one person may have witnessed something, talked to or been around people of another race a lot, or know more about different ethnicities than someone else, and their knowledge could be useful to the rest of our class. Just because our class is white, doesn't mean that all of our pervious classes and experiences have been. as a class, we learn from each other's experiences and knowledge of subjects. that is what discussions are for.


Mon Oct 20, 2003 8:06 pm
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i agree with all the things that have been said on this post. yes, we may be "white" but we all have had so many experiences and friends of a rainbow of colors and we deserve to share those experiences and gain from each other. when people hear the word "race" they often think black and white, and race is so much more than that. i went to a racially diverse high school, and i love that many of my experiences include sooooo many different people and i really think that you all have had similar experiences in your years and we owe it to each to share that knowledge just like knowledge about anything else for our classrooms...

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Mon Oct 20, 2003 9:27 pm
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I honestly was going to start a thread saying the same thing, if i felt a class composed mostly of whites really can understand what it is like to be in the same situations as other races. i believe it is a subject that should be talked about becasue it's a way to become more educated, i just feel sometimes people make assumptions based on their own life experances and can't really understand were other races are coming from.

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kelly grahl


Tue Oct 21, 2003 9:59 am
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Saying that we aren't giong to talk about race because we are predominatly white is like saying that we should'nt talk about homosexuality, or AIDS, or cancer because MOST of us have never had to deal with it. even if we can't put ourselves in another shoes we can still strive to make ourselves aware. Chances are you will hvae students who have or are dealing with these issues. I think we owe it to them to discuss this and try to understand.


Wed Oct 22, 2003 11:51 am
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I agree that as a white person I don not know what it feels like to be a minority. It is difficult to teach this to an mostly white class, but I do feel it is neccisarry. We will not know how it feels, but we should learn to understand that others do face these problems. Learning about race will help us in the future understand the problems faced by minorities, and we will be able to help the world change to a more equal world. I have black friends who live in a area of my home town that is all black. When I go to see them I feel different, but I always remember that when I leave I will be back in a white controlled society. My black friend do not have this luxury. There homes are their only safe zone, and when they go anywhere else they are out of their safe zone. I could never know how that feels, but I do want to understand more about their feelings so one day as a teacher I could maybe help students feel more comfortable outside of their comfort zone.

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Thomas Clark


Fri Oct 24, 2003 2:29 pm
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I agree that any topic is worth having a discussion about. No matter what the circumstances. Its just that simple.

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Kristen Billings


Tue Oct 28, 2003 9:20 pm
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Here's what I'm thinking. It is impossible for us, being primarily caucasion, to know it is to be on the other side. But racial issues follow the lines of class issues closely. There is much discrimination between the classes, almost as much as between the races. Different races tend to look at each other as 'different,' People of different social classes look at each other as 'different' The lower class view the upper class as snobby and frivilous. The upper class view the lower class as lazy and uncouth. In my case I have been discriminated against because of my supposed social class and it is an odd thing. We just have to remember that it is our job to teach that it is these differences which make us wonderful; this is how we learn.

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meg o'connor


Sat Nov 29, 2003 11:44 pm
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I believe everyone's points are interesting but I also think that it is important to realize that we are white and not a different ethnicity. As teachers I think that realizing that we will have to face this in our classrooms is great. I think that it is even better that we have the opportunity to express our feelings before we reach the classroom is the best thing in the world. At least this way we get fdocused before entering the schools sytem and don't know our viewpoints.

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Rachel Lincoln


Tue Dec 02, 2003 8:39 pm
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I agree with Rachel when you talk about the converstations we have now with one another will be valuable when we start to teach. These are the types of coverstations all teachers should have before they teach. It makes us think about other points of view and really starts us off on the right foot wether or not we have one signle view point on one single topic... we still make sure that we know all the other sides as well.

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Kristen Billings


Fri Dec 05, 2003 11:46 pm
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I like the point that Megan brought up about not just racial discrimination existing, but discrimination of social class as well. Too many times people tend to think of only racial or gender discrimination when practically anything that is not the norm or majority is discriminated against. I think that as educators we must be aware of these other social injustices so we can recognize them in ourselves and also educate our students about them. Doing a class activity like the one done in the video A Class Divided (discrimination against brown eyed, then blue eyed people) can help students begin to understand and feel discrimination which will help them better understand a discrimination that cannot be made against them. Even if students in the classroom cannot experience a certain discrimination, it must still be discussed or we continue to be prejudice, blindly or consciously, and racial or any other injustice will continue to exist.


Sat Dec 06, 2003 5:22 pm
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I totally agree that it is a bit bias to be talking about racism in a class that has a majority of whites in it. However, I do think that by talking about it, we can come to somewhat of a better understanding of where other races are coming from, and why they may feel the way they do. Although I know that we will never fully understand, we can only better ourselves by at least attempting to relate to and understand the other cultures and races around us :o .


Tue Dec 09, 2003 1:23 am
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I think the best thing we can do as teachers is to be open to any opportunity to educate our students. The tough life lessons are just as important as reading, writing, and arithmetic. If we keep ourselves abreast of social issues be are in a better position to discuss them with our classes and possibly make a difference in the lives of our students.


Tue Dec 09, 2003 12:06 pm
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Ed makes a very good point. So many times I think, "I'm going to teach elementary school music, how is this going to effect me?" but the truth of the matter is that when these social issues are in the lives of my students outside of the classroom, they will also come into the classroom with them. If there are students who come into my classroom using racial slurs, then I must correct them in this behavior, even if it does not apply to what my subject area is. My job is to not only teach my subject are, but to teach my students how to be individuals with integrity. If they are not learning the proper way to treat people of all ethnicities with respect outside of my classroom, then it is my duty as an educator to teach them within my classroom.


Tue Dec 09, 2003 9:22 pm
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