RACISM BETTER UNDERSTOOD? -- Just dress as klansmen. Yes, let high school students wear the klan hoods and robes while walking through a southern high school. Of course, don't tell anyone what's to happen, that it's only a pretend re-enactment. Particularly don't tell the African American students. Let 'em be scared. Ha, ha.
A teacher at the Lumpkin County High School in Dahlonega, Georgia, allowed her honors history students to re-enact history by dressing as Ku Klux Klan members -- to understand racism. The teacher, Catherine Ariemma,(pictured right) is on paid leave now, pending an investigation, reports CBS Atlanta.
A LAPSE IN JUDGMENT?
"We're upset about it," said Lumpkin Co. School Superintendent Dewey Moye. "It was inappropriate and unacceptable." Moye called Ariemma's student assignment "a lapse in judgment."
A student at the Georgia high school reported being appoached by the hooded and robed students, who asked if they could re-enact lynching of him for their class project.
ANOTHER TEACHER'S ETHICS LESSON
Two years ago, Ethic Soup published a teaching post about a white social studies teacher who bound the hands and feet of two African American 7th-grade girls -- and then had them crawl under classroom desks to teach about slavery.
And now there's another example of terrible teaching, where teaching about racism becomes racism itself -- just as the example above supposedly began as a teaching method about slavery and actually became slavery itself. What else is it when hands and feet are bound so you cannot escape and are left totally vulnerable physically, and then are told to do something you do not want to do?
However, Ariemma told the Atlanta Journal Constitution, "You cannot discuss racism without discussing the Klan. To do so would be to condone their actions."
WHAT'S NEXT, EDUCATORS?
The actions of KKK members was not merely wearing white hoods and robes to hide identities and strike fear in the hearts of their chosen enemies. Will you have students role-play rape scenes, lynchings and beatings by the klansmen? Surely, you'll just have to burn a cross or two on the school grounds to really teach what racism is all about. Puhleeze!
WHAT BUBBA GUMP SAID: "STUPID IS..."
A college degree in education and teaching credentials don't ensure an absence of ignorance or a recognition of danger.
Yes, I know, there are many good teachers out there. And I'm sure they greatly outnumber the bad teachers. But, surely, the good teachers and school administrators need to police their own to some degree and not remain passive to protect their own butts. How about protecting the kids first?
TOO MANY TEACHERS HATE THEIR JOBS
I'm really concerned for another reason. Too many teachers today hate their jobs. When did this happen? Many are angry, bitter and resentful. How are they able to teach children who will respect them, listen and try their very best for them?
One thing that every teacher and school administrator needs to do now is read their own codes of ethics. It can't hurt:
CLICK TEACHERS' CODE OF ETHICS FROM ASSN.OF AMERICAN EDUCATORS.
CLICK ADMINISTRATORS' CODE OF ETHICS FROM AMERICAN ASSN. FOR SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS.
by Sharon McEachern