What Do We Say to Our Children?

By Bernita Bradley

What do we say to our children?

How do we explain what happened last week? How do we put our children at ease about headlines that cover the negative stories of racism and abuse?

I am not speaking of the election of Donald Trump. I am still wrapping my head around that.  I am speaking of stories and videos of students chanting in lunchrooms "Build That Wall".

Students who use their bodies to build a wall as their peers try to access lockers. What about neighbors who decided to forsworn a man by writing "N-Word get out now!" Or women fearful to wear the hijab. Urged by their own mothers out of concern. Headlines read "Woman forced to remove hijab after man threatens to set her on fire."

What do we say, how do we explain that these feelings have always been there for these thugs? Most of them just feel permission to express it now.  The racist cries have gotten worst since the election. How do we comfort the recipients of this behavior?  School district releases statements that read: 

http://www.royaloakschools.org/Core/News/Article/2841

A brief "build a wall" chant. This language alone seems to give permission and the excuse for bad behavior. This is learned behavior, this deep imbedded hatred for people they don't understand. What needs to happen? How do we encourage students and people to walk through hallways without fear?

I don't have answers. But I suggest that schools, neighborhoods and communities take action now. Not the shaming type of action, but the letting them know that we won't stand for this type of action. That it’s not right. Open conversations about why, who and how it effects Americans of other races. I don't know, I just know something needs to be done. 

This has literally ripped families apart. Something needs to happen, now! If you have suggestions, share them. If you know of people who want to chant or threaten people, have a conversation with them. 

We must do something before it is too late. #Voices4Ed #ChoiceIsOurs Share your thoughts on Twitter @DSchoolsRock.