Black Lives Matter offers teachers a free social justice curriculum
Black Lives Matter at School offers free K-12 curriculum for teachers covering racism, social justice and diversity as protests over George Floyd’s death continue across the country.
The lessons, created by educators, are designed for students of all ages, from early childhood to high school, and also include resources in multiple languages.
Elementary school activities, for example, include art projects that address racism as well as a guidebook about respect created by GLSEN, which advocates students in the gay, lesbian and transgender community.
Middle school lessons cover the experiences of black women and restorative justice.
The high school resources cover topics such as environmental justice, social justice in math, and extensive social studies and history lessons.
Black Lives Matter in Schools’ website also provides links to several other organizations that offer resources for teaching about race and equity, including:
- D.C. Area Educators for Social Justice
- Washington Education Association
- NEA’s EdJustice initiative
- Rethinking Schools
- Rochester City School District resource toolkit for school staff
In a post titled “Moving Forward Together,” the Connecticut Department of Education has compiled a list of resources to guide teachers, students and parents in discussing racism, hate and violence.
“If we are to prepare our students to become productive members of a diverse society who embrace diversity and foster school communities in which all members feel valued, respected and safe, remaining silent on these current events is not an option,” Connecticut Commissioner of Education Miguel A. Cardona wrote.
Educators respond to protests
The website WeAreTeachers, which helps educators share ideas and resources, has reached out to teachers to find out how they are talking to their students about George Floyd’s death and the protests.
“I teach elementary special education in an inner-city school where riots are currently happening. We are out for summer, but I’m working on setting up a time to Zoom this week. I can only imagine how scared they are right now. I’m planning on asking how they are doing and going from there. Making sure they know they are loved and respected,” one teacher said.
“I teach middle school science. I am a white teacher and 99% of my students are (people of color). During this week’s Zoom calls, I am just going to ask everyone how they are doing and let them talk. I will sit with them and listen,” another teacher said.
NASSP, the National Association of Secondary School Principals, wrote an open letter to school leaders recognizing trauma experienced by black students who have already been disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus.
“This moment in time calls on us as leaders to build our own cultural competence to recognize and address the racial disparities in our discipline policies and our academic systems, and in our use of school resource officers,” says the letter, written by NASSP Executive Director JoAnn Bartoletti and NASSP President and Chairman Peter Kruszynski. “It calls on us to lead conversations with all students and stakeholders that will build culturally responsive schools.”