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  Case: Donít Hold Hands
Ade and Elsa are two 7th grade girls from Indonesia who joined our school couple months ago. I teach them Physical Science. They have well-developed English skills. Although they have an accent, they can communicate with teachers and fellow students. I am very sensitive to the needs of newly-arrived immigrant students, so I paid close attention when I heard rumors from other students about them. Students started spreading that Ade and Elsa were in a lesbian relationship. Apparently Ade and Elsa heard about the rumors; they came to me in tears. I asked them to tell me what was going on. What I found out was very interesting. Ade and Elsa have known each other since they were small children and they have always been best friends. Their families decided to move to the US together. Their fathers applied for jobs in the same company. They both received offers and moved together. Ade and Elsa were excited about going to the same school in US and continuing their friendship. In Indonesia, same-gender friends holding hands is very common and indicates friendship. When children at our school saw Ade and Elsa holding hands they thought that Ade and Elsa were in a lesbian relationship. I have to do something about this. I see two options before me: I will explain to the children in my classes that friends holding hands in some cultures is completely normal, or I will tell Ade and Elsa to not hold hands to avoid these rumors. The second option seems culturally insensitive, but if Ade and Elsa continue holding hands, rumors will continue even if I explain to my students the cultural side of their friendship. What should I do? If you have an original solution to this issue, please advice.
Solution: (Rates are posted for this solution!)
For this situation, I would say you should incorporate both options. Tell the two girls why people are saying what they are saying, but also explain to them that in their culture it is normal so if they still choose to do so that is okay. Also I would recommend explaining to the class that in other cultures it is normal, however, no one should be spreading rumors about the two girls. You could incorporate this into a learning experience, and pull other types of 'different' traditions and teach them to the class. It might also be fun to tell them what we do in America, that other countries would laugh at or judge.
 
     
     
  Rating
The suggested solution is respectful of the individual (student) Yes
The suggested solution is relevant to the case Yes
The suggested solution is reasonable (easy) for the teacher to implement Yes
The suggested solution is likely to solve the problem/issue Yes
The suggested solution is original Yes
Comments:
Rated On: February 11, 2013 3:17 pm
Rated By: Maggie Coyne
 
     
     
  Rating
The suggested solution is respectful of the individual (student) Yes
The suggested solution is relevant to the case Yes
The suggested solution is reasonable (easy) for the teacher to implement Yes
The suggested solution is likely to solve the problem/issue Yes
The suggested solution is original Yes
Comments:
Rated On: March 3, 2013 8:17 pm
Rated By: yTuGyd
 
     
     
  Rating
The suggested solution is respectful of the individual (student) Yes
The suggested solution is relevant to the case Yes
The suggested solution is reasonable (easy) for the teacher to implement Yes
The suggested solution is likely to solve the problem/issue Yes
The suggested solution is original Yes
Comments: I like how this solution says to incorporate both options. And that no one should be spreading rumors.
Rated On: October 18, 2014 7:18 pm
Rated By: Amanda Meredith
 
     
     
  Rating
The suggested solution is respectful of the individual (student) Yes
The suggested solution is relevant to the case Yes
The suggested solution is reasonable (easy) for the teacher to implement Yes
The suggested solution is likely to solve the problem/issue Yes
The suggested solution is original Yes
Comments: Great solution. This allows the students to learn more about friendship customs in other cultures.
Rated On: October 18, 2014 9:34 pm
Rated By: Megan Lee
 
     
     
  Rating
The suggested solution is respectful of the individual (student) Yes
The suggested solution is relevant to the case Yes
The suggested solution is reasonable (easy) for the teacher to implement Yes
The suggested solution is likely to solve the problem/issue Yes
The suggested solution is original Yes
Comments: I agree about using both options,
Rated On: February 25, 2015 7:59 pm
Rated By: Jen
 
     
     
  Rating
The suggested solution is respectful of the individual (student) Yes
The suggested solution is relevant to the case Yes
The suggested solution is reasonable (easy) for the teacher to implement Yes
The suggested solution is likely to solve the problem/issue Yes
The suggested solution is original Yes
Comments: If I were in this situation, I would do the same. I think it is very important that both the girls and the classmates are addressed on the situation. I like the approach of more informing the girls then telling them what they did was wrong and supporting them continuing their cultural differences. Also, an activity for the class that not only involves holding hands but showing other types of physical traditions like hugging or shaking hands provides comparison for the classmates to relate to.
Rated On: February 25, 2015 8:26 pm
Rated By: Meredith Bentley
 
     
     
  Rating
The suggested solution is respectful of the individual (student) Yes
The suggested solution is relevant to the case Yes
The suggested solution is reasonable (easy) for the teacher to implement Yes
The suggested solution is likely to solve the problem/issue Yes
The suggested solution is original Yes
Comments: Good insights!
Rated On: March 10, 2015 2:58 pm
Rated By: qaqeHy
 
     
     
  Rating
The suggested solution is respectful of the individual (student) Yes
The suggested solution is relevant to the case Yes
The suggested solution is reasonable (easy) for the teacher to implement Yes
The suggested solution is likely to solve the problem/issue No
The suggested solution is original Yes
Comments: I ag ree 100%, on the one hand their culture shouldn't be disregarded and they need to be allowed to practice what is comfortable, but at the same time warning them about the possible backlash is reasonable. I don't think anything will get solved, it's a young age and depending on your population even if most of the kids buy in, there will always be some who will still gossip just for the sake of gossiping and the attention it will bring them.
Rated On: May 24, 2015 11:48 am
Rated By: Farhat Ahmad
 
     
     
  Rating
The suggested solution is respectful of the individual (student) Yes
The suggested solution is relevant to the case Yes
The suggested solution is reasonable (easy) for the teacher to implement Yes
The suggested solution is likely to solve the problem/issue Yes
The suggested solution is original Yes
Comments: I feel that this solution is great for helping to solve this problem. I like the idea that maybe the girls could share of what we do in America that would be different and problematic in their country.
Rated On: May 24, 2015 3:01 pm
Rated By: Melissa Aspinwall
 
     
     
  Rating
The suggested solution is respectful of the individual (student) Yes
The suggested solution is relevant to the case Yes
The suggested solution is reasonable (easy) for the teacher to implement Yes
The suggested solution is likely to solve the problem/issue Yes
The suggested solution is original Yes
Comments: I like your idea of comparing cultures with ours. I think students would find it interesting to learn customs of other cultures. I think students would also feel empowered because they have been made aware of what goes on outside of America.
Rated On: June 1, 2015 3:40 am
Rated By: uqeXun
 
     
     
  Rating
The suggested solution is respectful of the individual (student) Yes
The suggested solution is relevant to the case Yes
The suggested solution is reasonable (easy) for the teacher to implement Yes
The suggested solution is likely to solve the problem/issue Yes
The suggested solution is original Yes
Comments: I pretty much said the exact same thing! I am really glad that I saw the situation the way someone else saw it as well! I think pulling a different types of traditions lesson plan would really pull it all together.
Rated On: August 30, 2015 3:18 pm
Rated By: Tetygy
 
     
     
  Rating
The suggested solution is respectful of the individual (student) Yes
The suggested solution is relevant to the case Yes
The suggested solution is reasonable (easy) for the teacher to implement Yes
The suggested solution is likely to solve the problem/issue Yes
The suggested solution is original Yes
Comments: This is a great solution and allows for a teachable moment in the classroom.
Rated On: October 4, 2015 10:37 pm
Rated By: adenar
 
     
     
  Rating
The suggested solution is respectful of the individual (student) Yes
The suggested solution is relevant to the case Yes
The suggested solution is reasonable (easy) for the teacher to implement Yes
The suggested solution is likely to solve the problem/issue Yes
The suggested solution is original Yes
Comments: I really like the solution you came up with. I think that incorporating both things is by far the best thing to do. To me, the students need to understand that spreading rumors is bullying and it is mean. On the other hand, I do think it is important for the two girls to understand that in America, habits can mean different things which isn't a bad thing by any means, just a good thing to know. The students can continue to do whatever they would like of course, and I would explain to them that every culture is different and sometimes kids can be mean about things that they don't understand.
Rated On: October 18, 2015 3:40 am
Rated By: yseHug
 
     
     
  Rating
The suggested solution is respectful of the individual (student) Yes
The suggested solution is relevant to the case Yes
The suggested solution is reasonable (easy) for the teacher to implement Yes
The suggested solution is likely to solve the problem/issue Yes
The suggested solution is original Yes
Comments: I love how you talked about turning it around to how other cultures might view American customs and practices.
Rated On: October 19, 2015 12:27 am
Rated By: yDaNyn
 
     
     
  Rating
The suggested solution is respectful of the individual (student) Yes
The suggested solution is relevant to the case Yes
The suggested solution is reasonable (easy) for the teacher to implement Yes
The suggested solution is likely to solve the problem/issue Yes
The suggested solution is original Yes
Comments: This was an effective answer.
Rated On: October 19, 2015 3:22 am
Rated By: aqaWuR
 
     
     
  Rating
The suggested solution is respectful of the individual (student) Yes
The suggested solution is relevant to the case Yes
The suggested solution is reasonable (easy) for the teacher to implement Yes
The suggested solution is likely to solve the problem/issue Yes
The suggested solution is original Yes
Comments: I think it's important to have students that have a well rounded view about their own cultures and others. Teaching students that other cultures may have the same gawking reaction will help students relate.
Rated On: November 3, 2015 8:23 pm
Rated By: yDyjuB
 
     
     
  Rating
The suggested solution is respectful of the individual (student) Yes
The suggested solution is relevant to the case Yes
The suggested solution is reasonable (easy) for the teacher to implement Yes
The suggested solution is likely to solve the problem/issue Yes
The suggested solution is original Yes
Comments: This is a great solution and one that I would use in my classroom!
Rated On: March 2, 2016 5:34 am
Rated By: uBybuz
 
     
     
  Rating
The suggested solution is respectful of the individual (student) Yes
The suggested solution is relevant to the case Yes
The suggested solution is reasonable (easy) for the teacher to implement Yes
The suggested solution is likely to solve the problem/issue Yes
The suggested solution is original Yes
Comments: I agree. I would explain to them that different cultures have different norms. I would also dress my classes about the issue and incorporate some sort of discussion about cultural norms.
Rated On: October 16, 2016 6:54 pm
Rated By: ajuVyj
 
     
     
  Rating
The suggested solution is respectful of the individual (student) Yes
The suggested solution is relevant to the case Yes
The suggested solution is reasonable (easy) for the teacher to implement Yes
The suggested solution is likely to solve the problem/issue Yes
The suggested solution is original Yes
Comments: I like that the students will be heard and shown to the other children that it is not a bad thing in their culture. I think this needs to be respected, because they are all each other have. This is a great learning opportunity for the class room.
Rated On: February 25, 2017 11:20 pm
Rated By: uWuXyj
 
     
     
  Rating
The suggested solution is respectful of the individual (student) Yes
The suggested solution is relevant to the case Yes
The suggested solution is reasonable (easy) for the teacher to implement Yes
The suggested solution is likely to solve the problem/issue Yes
The suggested solution is original Yes
Comments: If I were in this situation, I would exactly do this.
Rated On: March 3, 2017 10:30 pm
Rated By: GyNyzu
 
     
     
  Rating
The suggested solution is respectful of the individual (student) Yes
The suggested solution is relevant to the case Yes
The suggested solution is reasonable (easy) for the teacher to implement Yes
The suggested solution is likely to solve the problem/issue Yes
The suggested solution is original Yes
Comments: Explaining both sides of the situation will be the most helpful.
Rated On: March 5, 2017 10:46 pm
Rated By: aTaqyW
 
     
     
  Rating
The suggested solution is respectful of the individual (student) Yes
The suggested solution is relevant to the case Yes
The suggested solution is reasonable (easy) for the teacher to implement Yes
The suggested solution is likely to solve the problem/issue Yes
The suggested solution is original Yes
Comments: I like the idea of incorporating both options. I think teaching kids of both sides will also teach them not to judge other kids.
Rated On: March 6, 2017 1:28 am
Rated By: Hasena Kurtić
 
     
     
  Rating
The suggested solution is respectful of the individual (student) Yes
The suggested solution is relevant to the case Yes
The suggested solution is reasonable (easy) for the teacher to implement Yes
The suggested solution is likely to solve the problem/issue Yes
The suggested solution is original Yes
Comments: I chose this comment because the two options presented by the poster are not necessarily mutually exclusive. The teacher could tell the students that they aren't convinced it's a good idea to hold hands, and for the reasons to be explained. However, any kind of school bullying is not acceptable, and so explaining to the children in your class that it holding hands can mean many things, and explain that it's normal for the culture.
Rated On: March 6, 2017 5:28 pm
Rated By: jyHyHy
 
     
     
  Rating
The suggested solution is respectful of the individual (student) Yes
The suggested solution is relevant to the case Yes
The suggested solution is reasonable (easy) for the teacher to implement Yes
The suggested solution is likely to solve the problem/issue Yes
The suggested solution is original Yes
Comments: Good idea!
Rated On: October 13, 2017 4:02 pm
Rated By: Lavede
 
     
     
  Rating
The suggested solution is respectful of the individual (student) Yes
The suggested solution is relevant to the case Yes
The suggested solution is reasonable (easy) for the teacher to implement Yes
The suggested solution is likely to solve the problem/issue Yes
The suggested solution is original Yes
Comments: What great suggestions! I would implement these in my classroom if I was dealing with similar issues.
Rated On: October 16, 2017 12:28 am
Rated By: eHuPas
 
     
     
  Rating
The suggested solution is respectful of the individual (student) Yes
The suggested solution is relevant to the case Yes
The suggested solution is reasonable (easy) for the teacher to implement Yes
The suggested solution is likely to solve the problem/issue Yes
The suggested solution is original Yes
Comments: This solution is very helpful during this situation. I think that combing the two options will have the best outcome for not only the two girls but also used as a educational diversity exercise.
Rated On: October 16, 2017 4:58 pm
Rated By: Xupuva
 
     
     
  Rating
The suggested solution is respectful of the individual (student) Yes
The suggested solution is relevant to the case Yes
The suggested solution is reasonable (easy) for the teacher to implement Yes
The suggested solution is likely to solve the problem/issue Yes
The suggested solution is original Yes
Comments: I think this solution incorporates everything and makes sense.
Rated On: February 21, 2018 6:29 pm
Rated By: nehury
 
     
     
  Rating
The suggested solution is respectful of the individual (student) Yes
The suggested solution is relevant to the case Yes
The suggested solution is reasonable (easy) for the teacher to implement Yes
The suggested solution is likely to solve the problem/issue Yes
The suggested solution is original Yes
Comments: Couldn't have said it better myself!
Rated On: February 25, 2018 7:10 am
Rated By: epuMat
 
     
     
  Rating
The suggested solution is respectful of the individual (student) Yes
The suggested solution is relevant to the case Yes
The suggested solution is reasonable (easy) for the teacher to implement Yes
The suggested solution is likely to solve the problem/issue Yes
The suggested solution is original Yes
Comments: If I were in this situation, I would exactly do this
Rated On: February 26, 2018 12:18 am
Rated By: DuTepy