A Challenge to Teachers: #NoHateClassroom

I am proud to be an American, but embarrassed and scared by recent acts of hate in our country. When our leaders don’t condemn hate groups like those at the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, it is up to us to do so.

Somerville Vigil

Somerville Vigil in Solidarity with Charlottesville

As a teacher, I commit to post a statement in my classroom so that students see it when they arrive on the first day of school. Here’s what I’ve got so far (feedback welcome):

You are entering a space where hate will not be tolerated. You will be treated with respect here. It doesn’t matter what race, ethnicity , or religion you claim, or what languages you speak at home. It doesn’t matter what your gender or sexual orientation is. It doesn’t matter whether you have disabilities, or struggles with money, or any other challenges. Here, we will fight for all people to be safe, appreciated, and treated with kindness. You are welcome here. 

I challenge other teachers to write their own statements, or use this one, and post it in your classroom. I challenge administrators to send a statement like this to the school community. If you feel comfortable, share your statement in the comments of this blog entry, and share this challenge with other educators using the hashtag #NoHateClassroom. When I post mine on my classroom door, I’ll share a photo too.

Let’s start this school year out right.Empty Classroom

“We are the leaders we’ve been looking for.” ~Grace Lee Boggs

N.B. If you came to this blog to learn more about global education and our amazing planet, you’re in the right place! Stay tuned for more on Tofu-San’s summer adventures, coming soon.

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3 replies »

  1. I think it would he more powerful to have the word HATE mentioned but highlight the word Respect. Use respect first –

    You are now entering a safe space where respect guides us and there is no tolerance for hate.

    Or something like that.

  2. Your statement contains many negative statements – including “not.” Your final few statements are written positively.
    Is it possible to re-write your statement using only positive statements? Positive statements are strong and indicate action.

  3. This is a great challenge! I like the statement so far, especially with the repetition of “it doesn’t matter”.

    Maybe you could start it off with a welcoming sentence to make students feel at ease when they first enter the classroom?
    Such as “We welcome people of all kinds of backgrounds here,” and then move on to how hate is not tolerated because of that- “and so hate will not be tolerated.”

    Perhaps you could also explain why it’s important to encourage kindness and not hate, maybe something along the lines of this logic:

    “Anger and hate dig holes. Love and kindness move mountains” (Zero Dean)
    “Hate- it has caused a lot of problems in this world, but it has not solved one yet” (Maya Angelou)

    Otherwise it sounds great! Best of luck with your plan, I hope your students will learn the great importance of kindness!

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