TeacherServer.com
Home | How It Works | Stats
Login | Register
     
  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!)
I think that you should help both sets of students understand each others culture. I would definitely explain to the students that Ade and Elsa came here from another country and in their country this is a symbol of friendship. Then, I would conference with Ade and Elsa about the views and culture of people in the United States on symbols such as holding hands. Understanding differences in cultures could possibly be a great activity for a class assignment. After understanding the views of students and natural reaction the girls can decide whether or not to continue to show their affection of friendship this way or not.
 
     
     
  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 possible solution gives both parties involved an opportunity to change their behavior based on obtaining additional behavior. It also puts the ball into the two girls' court about whether they will choose to continue their behavior and perhaps risk continuing to be the object of the other children's scorn. However, the two girls should have the right to demonstrate their friendship for each other without having to endure negative labels from the other students.
Rated On: June 28, 2013 9:15 pm
Rated By: PyruNe
 
     
     
  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 post and very well could be utilized as a successful solution.
Rated On: July 3, 2013 12:08 am
Rated By: CI-GSU