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AZsub AZsub is offline
 
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Aryan in class
Old 09-17-2016, 08:45 AM
 
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This came up in the lunch room. One of the teachers said that a student in her class identified as neo-nazi. Had been saying nasty things about classmates and causing trouble. She had a talk with him, moved him to the front of the class and also called his parent to talk. She said the parent seemed nice and cooperative, however most kids that are like this get it from a parent.

My question is, as a teacher that is jewish how to handle my emotions with this kind of student. I know I have to be fair, but I think if this ever came up it would be hard. Also I am always professional, but inside a mess during the teaching of the Holocaust and with a student involved with neo nazi dealings and Holocaust denier, not sure what i would do. Any suggestions?


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start by being honest
Old 09-17-2016, 09:43 AM
 
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Could you start by talking from the heart and that you identify yourself as Jewish. Let this student know how toxic he is and any hate speech is liable.
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Old 09-17-2016, 12:54 PM
 
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I respectfully disagree with the PP. This student has very strong views, and a "from the heart" talk telling him he is toxic is not likely to change his mind. He WANTS to be confrontational and toxic. By telling him that she herself (or he himself) is Jewish, the OP could be risking some targeting behavior or verbal harassment by that student. While that would likely ---hopefully--- result in disciplinary action, it could still be frightening or upsetting to the OP. At the very least he may attempt to show his lack of respect for the OP, which can be undermining in a classroom situation.

I don't have any other suggestions, unfortunately, other than figuring out what kind of consequences for inappropriate classroom behavior will hold the most sway with him. Maybe his coach could help if the student is on a team. He's not going to magically change his racist opinions, and sadly, he's entitled to his opinions; but he does need to know that his behavior is not acceptable.

As a side note.... when referring to disparaging someone: spoken word is slander (S-S); written word / word in LETTERS is libel (L-L) These two are frequently mixed up.
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Old 09-17-2016, 03:52 PM
 
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I once had a Lebanese student who detested Jewish people. I used to teach 9th, and at one time we had to teach Eli Weisel's Night. Upon watching some background video footage from Discovery Kids or something, that student made some disparaging remarks about Jewish people and the Holocaust. I took the student to the hall and firmly told him that he is free to have his opinions but he is not free to disrupt my class. I let him know that further disruptions would result in discipline.

Since that was my first year teaching, I did seek advice from my DC, and was told that the district does allow students to read an alternate text. For which they must do all of their reading and work on their own. Upon mentioning this to the student, I never heard another peep on this topic. He turned out to be a great student. I even had the privilege of teaching him the next year in Eng II, since I switched grade levels.
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evil spread when people do nothing
Old 09-18-2016, 05:09 AM
 
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I'd rather put a stop and send a clear message than not have any suggestion. This is what's wrong with the world. We're too afraid to say nothing and before your indecision, it's too late:

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I don't have any other suggestions, unfortunately, other than figuring out what kind of consequences for inappropriate classroom behavior will hold the most sway with him. Maybe his coach could help if the student is on a team. He's not going to magically change his racist
Just do something instead of overthinking things.


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Old 09-18-2016, 10:57 AM
 
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I wouldn't know what to do, to be honest. I like to show pictures because that drives it home. When I was in high school one of my classmates shared an oral history project that her grandfather did about surviving the Holocaust. I've reached out to her and she was kind enough to burn me a copy to use. Maybe use something like that? I'd imagine there's even plenty on YouTube.

I don't know if theres anything that will alter his viewpoint but I like to keep it visual in case i ever will or currently do have a student who shares that world view
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Aryan in class
Old 09-19-2016, 07:23 AM
 
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I would be afraid of repercussions from students. My fear is a swastika in my classroom board.
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Use the Profession
Old 09-20-2016, 12:02 PM
 
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He's free to express his opinion- when it's on topic. He has the right to be a neo-nazi, as hateful as that may be to you or I.

I would NOT share your faith with him. Why does he need to know your personal views?

I'd treat any of his outbursts as an outburst- not so much about the content of his outburst.

As for your Night unit, I'd save that for waaay later in the year so you can develop an rapport with him first.

I know it may be difficult, but try to see him as a young, scared, impressionable mind that has been poisoned. Feel sorry for him. And refer him to the student-study team. I'm sure you'd be able to check off a bunch of boxes for at-risk behaviors...

By the time the unit rolls around, you could offer him an alternative unit of study. But I'm the type of teacher who'd actually have him do a research report on the history of the neo-nazis or the KKK. Have him learn what it is he's identified with. I'm sure that would shock him... and make him think. That's the mark of a great teacher.

Good luck.
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Aryan
Old 09-21-2016, 03:26 PM
 
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Good thoughts
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Old 10-01-2016, 07:46 PM
 
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I agree with FlyingPen


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response Aryan in class
Old 12-03-2016, 09:36 AM
 
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I love your alternative unit paper. Thanks
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Old 03-19-2017, 12:18 PM
 
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I am fairly new to teaching(8th grade-large,urban district) but I can tell you that it's important to understand a child's homelife/upbringing before proceeding with a situation like this. I don't have any white students so I haven't encountered the specific scenario mentioned above, but I have many gang-affiliated students, so the causes are pretty much the same. 9 times out of 10, a kid like this... 1) comes from a broken home(single parent, abusive/negligent parent, parent in jail, living with relative, etc.) and/or is bullied and is trying to fit in with a group of friends who acts as his substitute "family" or 2) subscribed to whatever beliefs the parents have passed on to him(as you mentioned). After you have come to understand how they got to this point, it's then important to understand he's still just a kid, no matter how awful his behavior and beliefs are. I mention all this because it is our job as educators to shape and mold young minds, so the answer to your question is to EDUCATE HIM, no matter how much you hate what he's saying or doing. Start a dialogue, contact the parents, refer him to the counselor, then continue educating him on why he shouldn't do what he's doing.
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