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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 a very delicate subject to speak about. For example, in Spanish Countries is normal to hold hands with your friends and even kiss them on the cheek when you see them. If I were you, I would educate my students about different norms and customs of different cultures. In this lesson, I would not only include Indonesia, but also Spain, Mexico, China, and even the USA. Clearly, there are more benefits in doing this, rather than telling these two girls to stop doing something they have always done.
 
     
     
  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 10, 2013 11:27 pm
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 11:54 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:
Rated On: May 25, 2013 8:19 am
Rated By: Johnnie Skelton
 
     
     
  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 response because it is multi-cultural and educational.
Rated On: March 11, 2015 2:39 am
Rated By: J SJ
 
     
     
  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 found this solution very applicable and helpful. It does not disrespect either the American or Indonesia culture. I especially like also that this individual who provided the solution offered the idea to expand the education of culture so that gives students the opportunity to expand their worldview as well. In addition, learn to respect other cultural norms that might be odd or different when they occur in America.
Rated On: July 5, 2016 1:46 am
Rated By: aWyVys
 
     
     
  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 would never do this! This is wrong.
Rated On: March 3, 2017 10:31 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: I agree completely. I am Italian and kissing on the cheek is normal for family gatherings, etc. Therefore, speaking about cultural norms and customs are very important so everyone fits in.
Rated On: July 5, 2018 10:03 pm
Rated By: Danielle Greaux