In 2007, no one thought a mixed-race man with a funny name would become president of the United States. That process playing out in my classroom as a teacher was rough from directives to students to not wear Obama hats and shirts to telling teachers to not talk about the election.
There was tension even then, and now we are heading into another presidential election that has already given much concern, especially after hearing about a Columbia teen shooting a video where he threatened to kill black people. The video was very troubling to teachers in the state and now to hear the student will not be charged for threatening to shoot up a school because South Carolina doesn’t have a hate crime law is even more disturbing.
I believe every school, primarily middle and high schools, should prepare themselves for this election. Some will say it is not that serious. I will say this, every culture is different and every culture perceives racial issues differently. A white family sitting down at the dinner table discussing racial problems in the country will be different than a black family or a Hispanic family sitting down at the dinner table. The beliefs systems will be different. So, where one might think is an issue, and the other may only not see one and may even tell you a problem doesn’t exist.
A discussion must be had before or early in the school year for all schools in South Carolina.