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Black Lives Matter

Discussion in 'Education news' started by rexinstead, Jun 11, 2020.

  1. rexinstead

    rexinstead New commenter

    I haven't been able to protest what has happened in America, but I feel like I can use my platform as a primary school teacher to really help and maybe make some difference to this. I have so far spoken to my school about teaching Black history and including more books written by non-white authors. I have also contacted the Lever Group, who write the Jigsaw PSHE programme and asked them to include more lessons specifically about racism. They got back to me saying that if I can send some lessons ideas, they will see what they can do about putting them into the programme. I have written these lessons but I feel like it would be hypocritical for a white person to write lessons of this nature with no input from anyone who has actually experienced racism. So I would like to ask if anyone in this forum would be willing to work with me to see what I've written and to help me ensure they are accurate and cover everything that needs to be covered. Please let me know on here as soon as possible, as I would like to act on this while the momentum is here and while people are planning for the next academic year.
  2. Romoletto

    Romoletto New commenter

    rexinstead likes this.
  3. mistermanager

    mistermanager New commenter

    I fundamentally disagree with you... Can white people not experience racism too?
    DrLinus and alex_teccy like this.
  4. nixmith

    nixmith Established commenter

    Yes, they can: "Shadow Health Minister Diane Abbott has apologised for any offence caused by comments she made on Twitter, after claims they were racist."

    She said she had not meant to generalise when she wrote: ''White people love playing 'divide & rule'".


    And don't get me started on the antisemite Naz Shah - Shadow Minister (Equalities) LOL: who was previously suspended by the Labour Party for being decidedly 'unequal' yet TODAY had a racist pop at Priti Patel! You really could not make it up!

    Last edited: Jun 11, 2020
    DrLinus likes this.
  5. peter12171

    peter12171 Star commenter

    And don’t go from one extreme to the other when discussing historical figures. Everybody is a mixture of good and bad, including people like Edward Colston, Winston Churchill and Robert Baden-Powell, who also behaved within the context of their times. By all means teach the bad things hey did, but acknowledge the good as well.
  6. rexinstead

    rexinstead New commenter

    I didn't say at any point that white people don't experience racism, I just don't think it's a problem as big as the police brutality and general treatment of Black people. I literally just asked if anyone would be willing to help write some lessons to teach children not to be racist, what about that do you disagree with??
  7. rexinstead

    rexinstead New commenter

  8. peter12171

    peter12171 Star commenter

    I think that, actually, where you are in primary it’s a question of making sure they do as they have done before. Kids, especially in their early years, treat other kids exactly the same. Our two-year-old will play with anyone, regardless of appearance. Something seems to happen that changes this; if we can avoid that change, progress will be made.
  9. hhhh

    hhhh Lead commenter

    First of all-the term 'non-white' has been considered racist, so you might want to think about whether you want to offend the people (of all colours) who think it is. Then again, you might not. Also, some BAME children have said they never experienced racism until their teachers made a thing of it. And how do you know that a 'white' author doesn't have any-as you put it 'non-white' relatives? Some of my friends and family who 'look white' have a sibling who 'looks Black'. Does it matter? Not to them. One of my relatives who DID experience racism years ago said that Britain is a very tolerant country and we should appreciate the police, not berate them as some movements do. As long ago as the 20th century, he also said white people can experience racism-and, in fact, white working-class males are the new underclass; some would say they need the most help now; the CRE's Trevor Phillips investigated schools and the achievement of 'groups' on one of his programmes.
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2020
    alex_teccy likes this.
  10. Romoletto

    Romoletto New commenter

    don’t want to derail this thread too much, but ask if this is then to be applied in teaching about Hitler, Abu Bakr al baghdadi and a myriad of others? Should every lesson around such figures go out of its way to mention good things they did?
  11. Romoletto

    Romoletto New commenter

    I highlighted the word “some” in what you wrote because it’s quite key. The experiences of those “some” do not automatically mean that we shouldn’t make efforts to address the racism that the rest will have experienced outside of the classroom or to try and raise a generation who will not put future children through such experiences because their teacher/teachers were concerned and conscientious enough to educate them as to the wrongs of the attitudes, beliefs and behaviours that bring about those experiences.

    it is also not helpful to bring up these “some” when such a teacher is simply seeking advice on how to go about in delivering such an education.

    Unless you believe that this “some” are the majority and that actually racism against BAME people doesn’t really happen enough to warrant any classroom time.

    I think the education being sought after here would be aimed at the types to whom it would matter, and those types do exist.

    Tolerance is always relative and I don’t think the original poster made suggestions about berating police. I also don’t think the black lives matter movement is officially advocating the berating of police.

    True, but:

    1) is it on the same scale and with the same consequences as the racism under discussion?

    2) does it negate the former sort of racism so that it cannot be discussed without “anti-white” racism being conjured up as some sort of counterpoint or nullifier of the racism under discussion?

    That’s not down to their race I would say, it’s a class issue.

    Also, it’s not an “either/or” situation. As a society, we should have enough care, concern, compassion and wherewithal to address these two separate and different social ills without turning them into competing agendas. They can both coexist and we can make efforts to tackle them both. No need to bring up one when someone is seeking ways to address the other.
    rexinstead likes this.
  12. peter12171

    peter12171 Star commenter

    To a degree, yes. Hitler, for example, was voted in at the start; there were reasons for people voting for him, and we need to understand how that happened in order to understand how he came to power and was able to do what he did. It's all about getting the balance right - difficult to do, I know, but that is one of the challenges of teaching these subjects.
  13. Romoletto

    Romoletto New commenter

    What you describe there strikes me as fundamentally different in tone than what I original read, where you were asking that we “acknowledge the good”. I can agree with what you describe and would expect that to be happening, as it sounds like contextualising and engaging with the elements that led to the bad things the person would be forever remembered by.

    acknowledging the good however feels like a different proposition.
  14. rexinstead

    rexinstead New commenter

    Please reread my post if this is the impression it has given you. I have seen and heard the term non-white used and believe it's a fair way to refer to people of colour but am willing to change my own use of vocabulary if it is truly offensive.
    The point of my original post was simply to say that my belief, from overwhelming evidence I have witnessed in the news and various other media, is that racism against black people, especially by the police in America, is still very much present. I also believe that it is present in England, if not to the extent of other countries. I am sure white people have experienced racism but I don't think it threatens their lives. I want to teach children about racism to ensure they understand that ALL people, regardless of colour, should be treated equally and with respect, including white people. I don't believe white authors wouldn't have friends or relatives of other races, I know this is the case and I don't think I said it wasn't. I just wanted to get a view from different races to ensure the lessons I write are accurate and inclusive. A white person solely writing lessons on racism would be the same as a man solely writing lessons on sexism: it's a subject that demands to be explained and seen from more than one point of view.
    As for children not being racist until teachers 'made a thing of it', I believe an experienced teacher, handling lessons sensitively, that have been written with a view to extending understanding and encouraging equality, would be able to handle this issue. I think racism is present enough in the world that if not taught about it in school, children would inevitably hear about it at some point, and so wouldn't it be better to be taught in an environment where questions can be asked and answered safely? Would you not teach about equality and fairness until after children have learnt the opposite elsewhere? Wouldn't it be better to begin their education with a positive message?
    I also believe that police are often caring and diligent and advocates for equality (I have spent time working in police stations and personally know officers who fit the above description) and i am not condoning mistreatment of them. I hope I have explained my position and point more clearly now.
  15. rexinstead

    rexinstead New commenter

    Thank you, it's comforting to know that my original post and intentions weren't entirely misunderstood and that there are other people who see this is a problem that needs addressing.
  16. MsOnline

    MsOnline Occasional commenter

    To OP - I'll try to send you a direct message with a link. No need to reinvent the wheel because resources already exist.

    Don't worry, threads about race always get high jacked in this way - best to ignore It. Nothing wrong with 'non-white'. Lots of fragile wind-ups on here.
    rexinstead likes this.
  17. alex_teccy

    alex_teccy Lead commenter

    @rexinstead it is I think a question of values. You should read the BLM statement verycarefully from their website, because it's not just BLM in the States, it's overthrow capitalism and personal liberty, and every problem of racial integration in the UK is down to racism. That's something we should not be presenting to primary school children, as you will be stigmatising them.

    Look at the broader picture. It's not right to teach boys that their masculinity is "toxic". It's not right to teacher girls that being a woman is "problematical" or white children that they carry the guilt of previous generations. Or that black and ehnic minority children that they are in a permanent, systematic state of victimhood, for which there is no answer other than retribution.
    We should be encouraging children to be brave and fearless learners, not to fear where they tread out of terror of causing offence at every turn. We should teach children to be forgiving, not to cast the first stone or become small agents seeking out "evidence" of wrongthink.

    These are doctrines of self-loathing and terrible things to apply to a child.

    It's time to walk away.
    mrajlong, emski1 and peter12171 like this.
  18. alex_teccy

    alex_teccy Lead commenter

    No, these are important matters to discuss.
    peter12171 and ACOYEAR8 like this.
  19. ACOYEAR8

    ACOYEAR8 Star commenter

    The 'influence' of teachers vs parents on the child's attitude and world view is still weighted heavily in favour of parents. If the child is subjected to racist comments and attitudes at home or overhears parental opinions, it's going to perpetuate itself and no amount of teacher input rationality is going to change that. The same thing is visible with the regard some parents have for schools and education in general -their children respond to this POV with similar attitudes in the classroom. Bottom line is - children, for all their arguments with parents are likely to adopt, consciously or not, their parents beliefs.
    peter12171 likes this.
  20. rexinstead

    rexinstead New commenter

    Where did you see in my original post that I wanted to teach any of these concepts? I will stand by teaching children to treat other people, male or female, and whatever race they are, with respect regardless of who tries to frame it as wanting to enforce extreme thought and opinions. You have taken statements and twisted them to suit the way you see the world. To boil it back to my original point, do you see a problem with children being taught to treat other people equally and with respect?
    alex_teccy likes this.

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