May 22, 2022

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Racism - what can we say, what can't we say and the role of the school - VG

Racism – what can we say, what can’t we say and the role of the school – VG

The question of using the n-word has been answered in many ways. You don’t. But in many cases it’s not about either – or.

This is history. The record expresses the writer’s position. You can submit articles and posts to VG here.

Peder Nostad Dembra project manager at HL . Center

This week, the racism debate was in the news. Ex-Farmen handball player and participant Kjersti Grini has apologized for using the racist term “negro” on TV 2. The discussion then shows agreement that there are limits to what one can say: the n-word is over this.

But is it also possible to put an end to what one can say so narrowly? writes in a post Master Anne Herry Bisgaard About students who pose a problem in their use of expressions like White lie And it contradicts Brighter times. The student says he is a racist. Bisgaard writes that something is wrong. She worries that the space for what the teacher can say is getting too small.

We have experienced similar concerns from other teachers. Through the school initiative Dembra (Democratic Preparedness Against Racism and Anti-Semitism), we are guiding schools in working to prevent various forms of prejudice and racism. Where is the limit of what can and cannot be said? How do you take care of individual students without teachers or fellow students feeling muzzled? How to deal with students’ accusations of racism?

None of these questions have unambiguous answers. As Bisgard points out, society evolves. We no longer live in the 70s and know more that origin and appearance influence how we meet people. And Norway is not the United States, we must discuss our way to the answers ourselves, based on Norwegian society and our context.

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Therefore, it is important that there is room to talk about this, so Shabana Rahman Fortalet Which participants did on the farm after the scene. This is especially important in school; Both teachers and students dare to question, disagree and explore together.

The question of using the n-word has been answered in many ways. You don’t. But in many cases it’s not about either – or. Take the question of light and dark as a picture of good and evil. Using the term brighter times as a positive is related to something as basic as the seasons, not racism. At the same time, it is easy to find examples in which skin color other than white has been used to symbolize dark forces or villains, both in art and literature, and in popular culture.

Teachers should be able to ensure that they are not racist when bringing this up with their students. But it should not be overlooked that even a teacher’s language and actions – often unconsciously – can help confirm a student’s sense of alienation. An example is when a pink pencil is referred to as “skin-colored,” despite the variety of skin tones in the class. Talking about words and actions that identify someone as an outsider is more important than researching the racist. Kjersti Greene is not a racist. Perhaps the word you used is still racist.

People experience racism differently. Therefore, it is important to have plenty of space for individuals to express their own experiences and expertise. In school, the teacher has a special responsibility to create a safe space for such respectful participation. The fact that someone throws a leash, is polite and doesn’t say things that hurt others, also helps expand the space so others can get away with it.

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Of course, when a situation arises in school, it is not always appropriate to delve into contexts and history. But the school’s new curriculum offers more opportunities for this now than ever before, not least by emphasizing in-depth learning, critical thinking, and student engagement. And let it be very clear: conversations like this are a good use of school time.

In order to nurture teachers in the difficult situations they are in, the school also has an important staff resource; The professional community as it is called in the new school curriculum. In front of colleagues, teachers must be able to express uncertainty and discuss the issues de Bisgaard addresses.

Through Dembra, we support schools’ work for students to become democratic citizens who can approach these and other challenges with openness and respect for each other. The most important tools in this work are the school on its own mission and skilled teachers.

By creating safe spaces for exchange and reflection, the school can contribute to the same kind of learning among students as what we experienced through Greene’s brave recognition in public.