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mountainlora
The big picture
08:00 PM on 01/16/2012
Unfortunately, like preaching of every kind, this article is preaching to the choir.

Those parents who appreciate people based on their individual merits, and not judging them by their religion or color of their skin, are already doing their best to pass that attribute to their own children.

And those who do not, or worse -- prefer to pass along their prejudices, will never hear what they need to or apply it to their own life or parenting

Nonetheless, to continue to talk about it can only be beneficial. It's like smoking, which 20 years ago was in the open, disrespectful of others, and seen everywhere from the workplace to restaurants. Now it is the smoker, who even if he still smokes, does so much more carefully and in far fewer public places. It was only constant education that made the change over time.
09:05 PM on 01/16/2012
smokers, you call it education, i call it reverse discrimination
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mountainlora
The big picture
06:58 AM on 01/17/2012
Both. Education with respect to smokING as a behavior. But I agree with you about discrimination with respect to smokERS, the people. It annoys me when 90% of the restaurants in town are non-smoking, and non-smokers would insist on going to the very few places where smoking was allowed (The VA, a private club, or outdoor patio) and then want that to be non-smoking also. That seems so unfair.
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craigermt
I know you heard but did you listen?
07:56 PM on 01/16/2012
What the schools are trying to do is un-teach what parents have taught. They are gonna lose. What they need to do is just re-inforce there is not a difference between races without threatening the parents standing in the childs eyes. When the kids go home and say they have been taught wrong, guess what happens. I grew up with my (white) parents never saying anything about the differences in the races. Through the years some of the best friends I have had have been indians and blacks, and some of the biggest racists I have ever met are black. I have grown up hating individuals because of what they are, not what race they are. On diversity, I think we first need to end division. I think the greatest thing President Obama could do for this country is to no longer be the first afro-american president and become the first american of african descent president. To put american first and ancestery second would help end the hyphen-alienation we live with every day.
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mountainlora
The big picture
08:50 PM on 01/16/2012
Your first two sentences say it all.
09:03 PM on 01/16/2012
Teaching diversity means teaching that there ARE differences in people. It's teaching others, particularly the majority, to recognize and embrace and celebrate those differences.
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sfbanak
10:10 PM on 01/16/2012
Very well-stated!
07:52 PM on 01/16/2012
I wonder if our founding fathers are turning over in thier graves if they knew how are things are in this country.
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Molly D
08:16 PM on 01/16/2012
You bet they'd sit up in amazement! Six times the population of Britain, and twice had to come to their rescue in wartime. Slavery gone, women and all races enfranchised. Ben Franklin... electricity. What's the problem?
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Tom Iarossi
A proudly progressive veteran and educator
08:29 PM on 01/16/2012
You got me thinking. My grandmother was born in 1896 and died in 1988. In her lifetime she saw man man first take flight AND go to the moon multiple times. She went from horse-drawn trolleys and steamships to supersonic intercontinental travel and multi-car families. She started with handwritten letters that took weeks to arrive and almost made it to the era of cell phones and e-mail. She saw the introduction of radio, motion pictures, talkies, television, the enfranchisement of several races, two wars that engulfed the entire world, and a single bomb that could destroy an entire city.

Darn right they'd sit up in amazement.
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Tom Iarossi
A proudly progressive veteran and educator
08:21 PM on 01/16/2012
They'd probably be wondering why a country so blessed with nature resources, brains, and talent is also saddled with a major political party that wants to bring back the Dark Ages.
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greendayer
Save the Sea Turtle
09:08 PM on 01/16/2012
Hopefully, this administration and it's backward ways of massive central government debt and spending will be turned out much like the socialists in Germany, the fascists in Italy, and the communists in the USSR. They have really brought back the bad times.
Bob Calvin
Work hard, work smart!
09:49 PM on 01/16/2012
You mean the Democrats and the Environmentalists of course.
07:52 PM on 01/16/2012
When my son was in about 1st grade (20 years ago) they used cutout shapes about a foot high, also by color, but researched where their "people" were from by asking Mom and Dad, and made the cutout into a person wearing the traditional clothing of someone from your country of origin. I thought it was pretty cute. The whole wall was covered in these little people dressed in clothes from around the world.
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deewhy1939
07:49 PM on 01/16/2012
I was a teacher between 1962 and 1998, Grades K through 5 I never talked about the color of anyone's skin, including mine which is pale. My classes every year were very mixed, race, ethnicity. religion, and economics. I always found that talking about where our ancestors came from (country or State) was the most valuable. I started in September and with a map of the World. This was a great start for Geography and Social Studies. I also did the same with the many religions in the room as the notable celebrations came up on the calendar. When I had students with physical, mental or emotional disabilities and there were many, I work with my students to help them accept the fact that their classmate was as worthy as they. I used what I and my students faced every day to develop acceptance and understanding. I also worked with many different languages, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, and the languages of Cambodia, Thailand, and Viet Nam. I know I did my job correctly because my students years later have told me that they appreciated everything I did to make the year great for them.
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Molly D
08:20 PM on 01/16/2012
Funny how growing up with diversity makes it ordinary. Not a slogan, or a fad. Just life at its fullest.
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scythus
*sigh* because they don't let it trickle down.....
08:51 PM on 01/16/2012
The article states the problem teachers like yourself are the greatest part od the solution.
StevenRussell1
Christian Pilot
07:44 PM on 01/16/2012
As the old saying goes; "You can please all the people some of the time, you can please some of the people all the time, but you can't please all the people all the time."

Any learning experience is clumsy at first, unless you are perfect in this world.
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07:42 PM on 01/16/2012
Why would you want to teach a kindergarten age child about diversity based on skin color? From the anecdote about the two boys, I gather they had no problem with skin color before the diversity lessons. It seems to me if adults would just get over it, the kids would never give it second thought.
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janet41652
No rose colored glasses for me
09:40 PM on 01/16/2012
I believe that, too. I have always felt that if you spend your whole looking behind you, you will stumble and fall over everything in front of you.
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09:59 PM on 01/16/2012
Great way of looking at life. Thanks for sharing.
10:02 PM on 01/16/2012
Kids certainly do "give it a second thought" and why should adults "just get over it" until race is no longer an issue in this country. But there are lots of ways of discussing differences and similarities, as other commenters have pointed out.
07:39 PM on 01/16/2012
These little kids wouldn't know their skin was different if it wasn't pointed out to them. Racism is being passed on by ADULTS. Our country will be better off if everyone would consider themselves Americans, not hyphenated or anything else. These kids could start off in this direction if adults would just let the past go. Yes, history is history, but to keep it alive in today's world is just passing racism from generation to generation.
10:06 PM on 01/16/2012
Yes, they would, even if it weren't pointed out to them. They notice differences in hair color, or eyes, or skin, or height or weight, etc etc. They are not blind. The point is how they treat each other. And for that they need parents and teachers (and grandparents) who can guide them, who actually know something about the history of this country, and how it influences us today, and who work to make society better and less racist. Saying keeping history alive is just passing on racism is naive about conditions today. Better, yes, but a long way to go.
07:38 PM on 01/16/2012
all this talk, talk, talk nonsense. how 'bout actually LIVING diversity by associating with and having friends that are of a different race, nationality, color from ourselves. when children actually SEE their parents having a variety of friends in the home, there's no need for long drawn out discussions. children learn what they live.
07:56 PM on 01/16/2012
I raised my son to be as colorblind as I could. I just wish the brown and black kids he went to high school with had had the same upbringing. That's when kids begin to separate out into them and us, and it's not pretty.
10:08 PM on 01/16/2012
Nobody is color blind, nor should they be. Of course we "see" color, just as we see gender, height, weight, etc. The point is how we treat each other.
psridgell
secession is the solution
07:34 PM on 01/16/2012
Diversity is perversity, we are of the human race, period. Always dwelling on programs to point out differences will cause nothing but animosity in children who never noticed color or culture differences until we grownups point it out in diversity training.
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marco01
08:46 PM on 01/16/2012
Please, the differences are NOT pointed out to children in diversity training, what a joke. You act as if bigotry didn't exist until diversity training came along.
10:09 PM on 01/16/2012
I agree with you 100 percent, marco61.
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sfbanak
10:23 PM on 01/16/2012
Not everyone learns how to accept diversity at home; makes sense to teach it at school. Some will get it; some won't. Some will have a parent, neighbor, other prejudiced person say it's a crock & put down someone else. If you read blogs much, you can see where MANY could benefit. At least with a child there is hope. They are not holding on so tightly to their prejudices, are still being molded & formed. The real problem is when a child goes home and the response of the people s/he lives with. Sometimes teaching these things to children helps a conversation to develop and grow the family. Sometimes....if people let themselves grow & learn--it really is a life long process.
07:25 PM on 01/16/2012
I think the forced teaching of diversity and multiculturalism to children is a great mistake,instead they should teached responsability, respect,good manners,work ethics,and pure academic studies,the later,the most important,since our education system is one of the worse in the world.It seems that both subjects,only applies to black americans,and most americans do believe this subjects belong in schools,badly in need of improving our academic skills
08:00 PM on 01/16/2012
Off topic slightly, but we look bad compared to other countries because they siphon off about 75% of their students into various vocational/academic programs. If we could just stop thinking everyone in the entire country is going to college, and create choices for students that will fail in college, we will be much better off.
08:36 AM on 01/18/2012
tks, you are right, we have a lot of college graduates with meaningless titles, they fail to see that not everyone is born to be a scholar.
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sfbanak
10:28 PM on 01/16/2012
Learning how to live with, work with, appreciate, be in community and society with others, no matter their race, origin, religion, etc IS a most needed education & it can be taught right along with the 3 R's. You show your ignorance in thinking this only applies to one race. You actually make a case FOR teaching all of those things in school. You proved the point by what you said...
07:19 PM on 01/16/2012
I would also like to say that America is at a crossroads with it's history regarding different cultures and ethnicity. Many different minority groups have fought long and hard to be recognized in the USA. Everyone wants their story told they way it happened without sugar-coating or glossing over injustices. There will always be people that will not like someone else for whatever reason. The challenge in educating our children is finding a middle ground of teaching history and tolerance without infringing on a familial belief system. Having a child's brief paragraph on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.end with "He was killed." may not be one of the best methods.
07:12 PM on 01/16/2012
Someone please tell me what concrete beneficial results have come "diversity" and "multiculturalism"
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bccpn
Links are not posted to be ignored
07:19 PM on 01/16/2012
35 in the world in Math and Science
07:37 PM on 01/16/2012
I thought he said concrete?
07:43 PM on 01/16/2012
My Grandson is brilliant and in special classes for the gifted. These do not start until later years in school. They must be provided with challenges as soon as they are ready. Until our school system starts recognizing this lapse of classes for our brilliant students, we will always be behind the rest of the world!
07:35 PM on 01/16/2012
It is your federal tax dollars/mandates at work. Don't you know? It makes people "feel" better. Typical form over substance. Whats next, bi-racial womens studies?
07:11 PM on 01/16/2012
Just another reason why home schooling and education via internet are becoming more popular. Schools and society have become focused on "us versus them" and many throw the term "racism" at anyone that don't agree with their views. Our current state of politics is a good example. People call other "racists" when they don't agree with this administrations policies. There is nothing "racist" about being against reckless spending and adding to the deficit! Many people forced change in 2010 due to the reckless spending and will force more change in 2012.

How many people have heard "If being against deficit spending and supporting our Constitution makes me a racist then so be it"? THAT is where the current mindset of "racism" is going; the term is being used so loosely that its true meaning is having less impact every day!

If schools are not discussing MANY cultures then the subject of Diversity should be dropped entirely! Diversity is not a "balck and white" issue, it's about understanding all enthic cultures, good and bad sides of them.

The only time race should be discussed is when it involves the HUMAN RACE as a whole.....
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marco01
08:50 PM on 01/16/2012
Good luck with "forcing that change" in 2012, you're odds aren't looking too good.
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marrmae1
Your fair share is not in my wallet
10:19 PM on 01/16/2012
F & F. You bring up a good point about why folks are moving to home schooling (agendas being shoved down kids' throats). Also, I have 3 sons in public schools (excellent public schools for that matter), but I can tell you that there isn't a week that goes by where I don't worry about some maniac (adult or kid) walking into the schools with a gun. I sometimes wish I could home school, but it's not in the cards due to my family situation.

As technology continues to grow exponentially, brick and mortar schools will become a thing of the past, and concerns like the ones you and I express will become a thing of the past. In fact, the technology to learn entirely on line is there now, but of course, entrenched institutions will die hard, they usually do. There are plenty here in this forum that will either fight that trend vigorously or simply deny that it will ever happen, but I will make a bold prediction.... 20 years from now, home schooling, on-line education, and similar conduits to learning will be the majority format for education over brick and mortar infrastructure.
07:09 PM on 01/16/2012
I experienced the same thing with my 6 y.o. son recently. We are African-American but we don't focus on skin color in my household. We are not ostriches with our heads in the sand about the "state of race relations" in America, however, we don't want our child to see people's skin color as a first descriptor. After his week long lesson in Civil Rights, all he could focus on was how "Dr. Luther King" (his words) got killed and he wanted to know who else got killed from his picture collage of Civil Rights leaders. I do agree that it starts in the home but it all depends on what lessons are taught. When he decides to ask questions we always answer truthfully in an age appropriate way. However, I'm not sure that a full-on lesson is appropriate for the 1st grade.