29 May 2015

Teachers, When Do You Wear YOUR Klansmen Hood?

Staff training at Bruce Vento Elementary school required teachers to think for 3 -4 minutes about all those times they acted like total Klansmen because of their white privilege. 

This sort of crap is exactly why I'm against mandatory so-called "sensitivity training."  It isn't sensitive to where the dominant group is coming from, and there is no genuine exchange of ideas or soul-searching. 

 Look.  There are some people who need to think about the perspectives of people from other ethnicities and socio-economic groups.  But exercises like this will not accomplish that goal. They'll entrench exactly the sort of attitudes and behaviour you wish to avoid.  Calling someone a racist puts them on the defensive instead of helping them to be open to learning something new.

Start by assuming that almost always, people want to be fair.  They want to be kind.  There are a few goose-stepping Nazi types in education - don't get me wrong - but most people who become teachers don't do it for the glamour and the high salaries, ok?  And in today's time, they certainly don't do it for the prestige.

They have a hard job.  Most of them want to be fair to everyone.  Show the teachers great ways to help black students, show them some of the realities their students face, perhaps have some former students talk of what they struggled with when they attended the school.  Given some of the constraints on teacher time and budget, what are some ideas they can use to make the classroom a friendly place for everyone?

And I know this is a crazy and very novel idea, but how about you ask the teachers what they feel they need training in to better serve their students?  That would probably be a better use of taxpayer money.  (Don't bring donuts.)


  1. As far as I'm concerned, sensitivity training is a load of psycho-babble claptrap. Someone needed a way to use up government grant money and had a 'brainwave'; sensitivity training was born. pfft!

    1. Very big waste of cash that could help the kids. And. Insulting.


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