I (along with my wonderful friend, Mr. L ) advise a group at my school called Equality Matters. Equality Matters stemmed from an idea to have a Gay Straight Alliance, but then there was a need for more than just discussions of equality across the lines of sexual orientation.
The group began with myself, Mr. L, two 6th graders, and one 7th grader. It has grown to two sections (6th grade and then 7th/8th grade) with around 21 students involved all together. Today, my 6th grade group watched a series of videos dealing with racial inequality. We discussed the differences in the points being made between Jada Pinkett Smith & Janet Hubert. We discussed Christopher Columbus “discovering” America and how normal schools are taught to not talk about parts of history that are poor representations of our “free nation.” We discussed the Japanese internment camps, segregation, and the books that portray slavery with smiling faces. We talked about what schools really teach children, and how its not always in the material but in the things we convey to them. I feel teaching these kids must go far beyond how to write a research paper or how to solve for x. It must teach them to think. To question. To be curious about the world around them. To defy what they have been engrained to believe and think in. These kids below said it perfectly….so, I’m just going to leave this here: