When my daughter was a baby, we would walk through the basketball court near our apartment building on the way home from the playground. Quite often, we would find a group of young boys shooting hoops. Usually, though not always, the boys were black.
How do youth think about their own privacy and that of others as they post photos and comments on social media? To what extent do they think about the ethical dimensions of the digital content (music, text, video) that they share? How do they respond to routine displays of disrespect and incivility that characterize dialogue in many online spaces?
Violent riots and protests erupted in Baltimore, Maryland, this week, following the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray after his arrest by police. As has happened much too often in the past year, current events are having an impact on the hearts and minds of our students
Adults often ask students to be upstanders, to speak out against bullying and other social problems, and to go against the tide. But we should also help students change the tide.This means changing social norms so that young people feel respected not when they degrade other students, but when they include others.
It can be so very difficult to discuss race with our children.
The conversation is particularly complex when it's about some of our nation's not-so-proud moments.Rather than face such moments head-on, sometimes we instead seek to protect our children (and even ourselves) from the pain and shame of the past, and so we often gloss over physical, emotional, and psychological suffering in history to get to a more palatable, less troubling version of those events. Moments like 1965 in Selma, Alabama, too quickly become "the victory of voting rights" rather than the painful history of a tired, yet determined, African American community that stood toe-to-toe against those who used terror, intimidation, and unjust laws to deny them opportunity to freely exercise the right to vote.