At New York City's Harvest Collegiate High School on Monday, social studies teacher Andy del Calvo did what educators often do: He adapted his lesson for the times. He shared news stories about the massacre of 11 people at a Pittsburgh synagogue and about last week's shooting of two African-Americans at a Kentucky supermarket, and urged his students to think. This weekend's mass shooting at Pittsburgh's Tree of Life Synagogue, carried out by a shooter authorities have said targeted the Jewish community and expressed anti-immigrant sentiments online, strikes at the heart of rising concerns about how bias shapes people’s thinking and where the school system should fit in pushing back on those mentalities.
How can educators, caregivers and family members given children and teenagers the tools they need to understand what has happened and take steps to challenge bias and hate in safe and effective ways? These points begin to answer that question and start a frank conversation that can lead to greater awareness and understanding.
Visitors to a children's museum in Pittsburgh react to Saturday's shooting at The Tree of Life synagogue.
While moments of hatred and violence may feel all-too-common these days, Teaching Tolerance offers resources in this edition of The Moment to talk to your students about how hate takes hold and what they can do to fight it.
NPR's Michel Martin speaks with Tarek El-Messidi, one of the main organizers of the fundraiser "Muslims Unite for Pittsburgh Synagogue," which fundraised $60,000 in 24 hours.
The aid agency has transformed itself over the past decade from a group that aids refugees because they are Jewish to a group of Jews that aids refugees.
In this opinion piece for the PBS NewsHour, ELL administrator Kristina Robertson (a frequent contributor to Colorín Colorado), writes, "As they face an uncertain future, immigrant children – regardless of immigration status – are experiencing high levels of stress… Parents, community members and teachers have a critical role to play, including learning some of the basics about immigration policy and how to talk with a growing segment of anxious youth."
It wasn't long ago that the worry was that rich students would have access to the internet earlier, gaining tech skills and creating a digital divide. Schools ask students to do homework online, while only about two-thirds of people in the U.S. have broadband internet service. But now, as Silicon Valley's parents increasingly panic over the impact screens have on their children and move toward screen-free lifestyles, worries over a new digital divide are rising. It could happen that the children of poorer and middle-class parents will be raised by screens, while the children of Silicon Valley's elite will be going back to wooden toys and the luxury of human interaction. The psychologist Richard Freed, who wrote a book about the dangers of screen-time for kids and how to connect them back to real world experiences, divides his time between speaking before packed rooms in Silicon Valley and his clinical practice with low-income families in the far East Bay, where he is often the first one to tell parents that limiting screen-time might help with attention and behavior issues.
For districts slammed by natural disasters, getting schools ready to reopen is a mammoth undertaking, filled with a series of seemingly minute decisions and steps that can make all the difference between a seamless reopening and one filled with recriminations, finger-pointing, and regrets. There’s the risk of moving too fast, of opening before all the conditions are ideal. New Orleans' schools faced that in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, when officials in that city opened some buildings with too few teachers and staff and served students partially frozen sandwiches for lunch. But the act of children waking up in the morning and going to school is one of the most fundamental things in life, and restoring that routine is essential to regaining a sense of normalcy in communities struck by disaster. That’s why reopening schools is one of the first jobs officials tackle after disasters. But very few people leading school districts have had the experience of doing just that.
School systems across the country should do more to ensure that current and former English-language learners have access to STEM education, a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine finds.