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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!)
This is such a sensitive subject and I can see how you are having trouble finding the right thing to say. Maybe there is a way to do a group lesson where the students have to hold hands, just touch hands, or something along those lines. Then, you may be able to tie into the lesson the fact that just because their hands are touching does not mean that the students like each other. Ask the students how they would feel if someone spread a rumor that they liked each other just because they were seen holding hands during the lesson. There are many other things that teenagers do that could be seen as liking each other such as hitting in a flirting way, hugging, etc. Ask if these things automatically mean the students are in a relationship. I have seen girls hug all the time who are just friends but that does not mean they are "together". Also, somehow tying in information about other cultural practices into your already prepared lessons could be beneficial as well.
 
     
     
  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 12:06 am
Rated By: Sara Jernigan
 
     
     
  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 2, 2013 11:53 pm
Rated By: eruHeB
 
     
     
  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 good idea for creating empathy and removing stereotypes. By allowing students to put themselves in a similar position as the two girls gives them an opportunity to develop a different perspective.
Rated On: July 1, 2013 12:50 am
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: I agree with you. If the situation is addressed as a group, then I feel as though their classmates will become a little less sensitive about it. Also, having an open and honest group discussion can also make students less uncomfortable. Having Ade and Elsa talk to the class about their culture will most likely be beneficial as well!
Rated On: May 18, 2014 1:50 pm
Rated By: Destiny Andrews
 
     
     
  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: Creating a lesson plan to explain the meaning behind holding hands is a great idea.
Rated On: October 18, 2014 7:17 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: This is a great idea. Students get sensitivity training and multicultural lessons as well.
Rated On: February 23, 2015 2:48 pm
Rated By: myNyHy
 
     
     
  Rating
The suggested solution is respectful of the individual (student) No
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 No
Comments: Here is my problem I think by addressing the problem you can make the girls feel even worse about the situation. It is a very sensitive subject, and I think it should be treated lightly. I don't believe you should address it by talking about holding hands, instead I believe you should address the cultural diversity in your classroom, and I think that students will start to understand that people from different backgrounds believe different things, and also do things differently.
Rated On: February 24, 2015 2:37 am
Rated By: Autumn Carroll
 
     
     
  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 with this solution.
Rated On: February 25, 2015 8:00 pm
Rated By: aNaQev
 
     
     
  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: Love the idea of having a hands-on (pun intended) activity. Explaining how we show different types of affection to our friends is a great way for middle school ages students to learn a valuable lesson.
Rated On: February 25, 2015 9:27 pm
Rated By: aSaByN
 
     
     
  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 students placing themselves in a situation to see how they would feel if rumors were spread about them or they were talked about behind their backs.
Rated On: March 9, 2015 11:46 pm
Rated By: Jonelle J
 
     
     
  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 appreciated your response, and I also agree with you. This would be a good time for the teacher to touch on the importance of empathy, and also to encourage the children not to be so quick to judge others, especially when they are not knowledgeable of various cultures. That could be seen as a form of bullying, and it should not be tolerated.
Rated On: May 20, 2015 10:35 pm
Rated By: Monica Rainwater
 
     
     
  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 No
The suggested solution is likely to solve the problem/issue No
The suggested solution is original Yes
Comments: I agree, the group lesson is a teachable moment, relevant and respectful, but depending on your classes population is it reasonable to implement, and will it make things better or worse? It could make things worse, lecturing about cultural norms could just add fuel to the fire with the rumor mill, there will always be someone who is antagonistic, and during teaching you would have to be careful as to your tone. Am I being condescending and making things worse, or am I really promoting understanding and making things better for my class as a whole?
Rated On: May 24, 2015 11:51 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 like the idea of teaching a group lesson with a game of holding hands to prove the point that you can hold hands and not be lesbians. I think the more we can model for our students and make them aware of the cultural differences, they more they will accept and appreciate it.
Rated On: June 1, 2015 3:36 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 like the idea of pointing out how other gestures do not mean you are automatically in a relationship. I give hugs to my male and female friends all the time and it does not mean I am in a relationship with them. I think this part is key and will help the students understand.
Rated On: August 30, 2015 3:11 pm
Rated By: Tetygy
 
     
     
  Rating
The suggested solution is respectful of the individual (student) No
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: If the lesson is strictly on hand holding then the girls would be targeted more for pointing out the specific issue that has arose. The lesson needs to be more broad and not specific to hand holding.
Rated On: September 1, 2015 3:35 am
Rated By: Jasmine Bringuel
 
     
     
  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 giving the students an example that they can relate to. An example to make them empathize to the two girls.
Rated On: October 4, 2015 9:27 pm
Rated By: QeJupa
 
     
     
  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: October 15, 2015 1:11 am
Rated By: bahete
 
     
     
  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: Exploring a lesson plan that involves educating the classroom on different cultures would be, in my opinion, the best way to comfortably handle the situation and diminish any rumors. It will show them that it is acceptable and that disrespecting other cultures you don't understand is wrong.
Rated On: October 16, 2015 7:00 pm
Rated By: nydyra
 
     
     
  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: Love this!
Rated On: November 2, 2015 4:42 am
Rated By: uSezaV
 
     
     
  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 having a lesson teaching students about different cultures is the best way to handle this and I would also incorporate points on not spreading rumors and bullying.
Rated On: November 3, 2015 8:21 pm
Rated By: yDyjuB
 
     
     
  Rating
The suggested solution is respectful of the individual (student) No
The suggested solution is relevant to the case No
The suggested solution is reasonable (easy) for the teacher to implement No
The suggested solution is likely to solve the problem/issue No
The suggested solution is original No
Comments: I do not entirely agree with this solution so I would not use it in my classroom.
Rated On: March 2, 2016 5:33 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: This is a great suggestion.
Rated On: March 7, 2016 1:48 am
Rated By: usudaX
 
     
     
  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 believe this solution to be another option because it is getting the students involved and showing them that you can touch another persons hand and not like that person in that way. I really liked how this person said that you could do an activity to get the students involved to show them that its okay to touch. I believe this solution will help the situation.
Rated On: October 11, 2016 9:43 pm
Rated By: yNubas
 
     
     
  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 goes along with my original thought to bring out the cultural lessons to students. This is a great group lesson idea and will show that touching can be appropriate and loving to friends. The example of how hugging is culturally excepted here being relative to holding hands is a great idea.
Rated On: October 15, 2016 1:14 pm
Rated By: Nicole McVey
 
     
     
  Rating
The suggested solution is respectful of the individual (student) No
The suggested solution is relevant to the case No
The suggested solution is reasonable (easy) for the teacher to implement No
The suggested solution is likely to solve the problem/issue No
The suggested solution is original No
Comments: There might be parents who are uncomfortable with this situation, I would suggest support from the administration ahead of time.
Rated On: October 19, 2016 1:32 am
Rated By: Elisa Perez
 
     
     
  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 idea. It gives the students an opportunity to learn about another's customs and shows support for the two girls.
Rated On: March 2, 2017 3:05 pm
Rated By: dyMaDe
 
     
     
  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 really thought of solution, good job!
Rated On: March 3, 2017 7:49 pm
Rated By: eqeJaQ
 
     
     
  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, educating the students about other culture's practices will be beneficial.
Rated On: March 5, 2017 9:01 pm
Rated By: avenyB
 
     
     
  Rating
The suggested solution is respectful of the individual (student) No
The suggested solution is relevant to the case No
The suggested solution is reasonable (easy) for the teacher to implement No
The suggested solution is likely to solve the problem/issue No
The suggested solution is original No
Comments: I don't believe having the class holds hands is very good idea.
Rated On: March 5, 2017 9:31 pm
Rated By: puSage
 
     
     
  Rating
The suggested solution is respectful of the individual (student) No
The suggested solution is relevant to the case No
The suggested solution is reasonable (easy) for the teacher to implement No
The suggested solution is likely to solve the problem/issue No
The suggested solution is original No
Comments: Though I understand the outcome, I feel that this solution will not make a huge difference on the opinion of the students.
Rated On: March 5, 2017 10:48 pm
Rated By: aTaqyW
 
     
     
  Rating
The suggested solution is respectful of the individual (student) No
The suggested solution is relevant to the case No
The suggested solution is reasonable (easy) for the teacher to implement No
The suggested solution is likely to solve the problem/issue No
The suggested solution is original No
Comments: Simply explain to the girls what's going on and then leave the decision to them. But I DO agree with talking to the other students.
Rated On: March 6, 2017 3:33 am
Rated By: jyvubu
 
     
     
  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 this suggestion. Doing a classroom lesson would let the girls see that the teacher is trying to help. Some students will understand but their will always be the few who find anything to bully others.
Rated On: October 16, 2017 12:27 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: I absolutely love your solution! The problem here isn't the two girls holding hands, but the grade thinking it is okay to make such rumors and bully the two like that. I think a lesson in bullying and making assumptions is what is needed for these kids. I see no harm in the hand holding.
Rated On: October 16, 2017 12:45 am
Rated By: ReLeve
 
     
     
  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
Rated On: October 16, 2017 2:00 am
Rated By: PeMuQa
 
     
     
  Rating
The suggested solution is respectful of the individual (student) Yes
The suggested solution is relevant to the case No
The suggested solution is reasonable (easy) for the teacher to implement No
The suggested solution is likely to solve the problem/issue No
The suggested solution is original No
Comments: I think there could be other activities to do with the students rather than having them touch. You could teach about many other countries and what there customs are or even do a verbal exercise with the students.
Rated On: October 16, 2017 5:01 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: This is exactly what I would do in this situation.
Rated On: February 26, 2018 2:44 am
Rated By: QaHyWe