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Posted on January 28, 2014 5:26 pm
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Will Melton
Will Melton
Reps: 58
Dealing with Teenagers and Race
I am a teacher who has a lot of interaction with students both in the classroom and in various extra curricular activities after school. I very must dislike how many students of all races speak about race sometimes, but I also sometimes wonder if my view of what they are talking about is different from how their generation is dealing with race. Students will make light of their own race and sometimes bring up racial stereotypes in a tongue in cheek way usually talking about one of their closest friends. As a white male teacher, I sometimes am not sure how to handle some of these situations, especially when it comes from students of other races about their own race. I realize that an overreaction on my part in some cases may make the student who is being targeted feel safe, but at other times may bring extra attention to the situation and cause embarrassment to the student.
My question mainly is focused on how the current generation of teenagers view race and how are they handling racial differences? How do we navigate what may be offensive to my generation while understanding what is not offensive to the current generation?
 
     
     
 
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Solution 1
Posted October 18, 2014 2:54 am

JepyBe
JepyBe
Reps: 101
Communication is key with students these days. The slurs that we would have been in fist fights over when I was in school (not THAT long ago) are now terms of endearment. In my language arts class, we do a lot of work with fiction and non-fiction pieces related to race and stereotypes of all kind. Many students just have no idea what the words and ideas actually mean. The readings and open conversations on race, stereotypes, and discrimination are generally eye-opening for these students and I see a tremendous change in language.
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Kathy Allen
Kathy Allen
Reps: 100
This could be a good teaching moment for the students.
  Posted on: February 23, 2018 9:12 pm

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Solution 2
Posted October 17, 2014 8:06 pm

hygaPe
hygaPe
Reps: 99
A possible solution would be to meet with different groups of teenagers of different races. Have a discussion about racial emotions, feelings, and that sort of thing. It is a great thing to have open, honest conversations with teenagers. Like you said, it might just be a cultural thing.
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ezaDyR
ezaDyR
Reps: 100
I love that idea, have the kids get together with some other peers and discuss some issues that have, whether it be social, academic, or even just about our feelings. It opens a whole new perspective in our students eyes. Also, I would bring up difficult topics about race to allow them to be more comfortable with the topic.
  Posted on: October 19, 2014 12:19 pm

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Solution 3
Posted March 14, 2015 7:51 pm

yTenyV
yTenyV
Reps: 104
This might be an edgy solution, but with permission maybe you could do an anonymous survey asking students what is actually offensive. Presenting material in class like informational texts/articles on the subject would create an open forum for students to talk on the subject as well. There students could express what would offend them and what would not have, but have it based around the theme of the article.
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Solution 4
Posted October 8, 2017 3:06 am

Maritza
Maritza
Reps: 201
I think that it would be really nice to teach a lesson about culture and humanity. When you teach the students about culture, teach about values, food, traditions, and race. It is important for the students to understand that race is socially constructed and your race does not define who you are. We are all humans and every human being deserves respect.
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Solution 5
Posted July 6, 2017 6:01 pm

MeRepe
MeRepe
Reps: 123
Well it sounds like communication would be best. Maybe do some research or have a discussion of this with other teachers who are in similar situations. It is not always best to speak to students directly about this because your words may be misinterpreted. If anything better safe than sorry and if you feel hesitant about saying something don't say it.
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Solution 6
Posted October 15, 2015 9:09 pm

uTaMaW
uTaMaW
Reps: 78
In this situation, I would let the studentís know that there are acceptable and unacceptable forms of communication and that they need to learn the boundaries in which certain interactions are okay or not. Using a controversial racial slur, even towards a friend is not the type of behavior that students should openly engage in while at school. Ultimately, we want our students to be successful in life once they have left the friendly confines of school. Knowing what can be said in public and what is best spoken in closed settings between close friends is an important lesson. If it was offensive to your generation, it is still offensive to some people in society.
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