Halloween (October 31, 2007), someone decided to distribute fliers calling
for a demonstration in support of the ideas embraced by the Ku Klux Klan at
an Indianapolis high school. Whatever the person's motivation, this type of
material has no place in Indianapolis schools.
Indianapolis Schools Should Support Tolerance
The racial demonstration didn't take place, but the idea that anyone would think it was funny or appropriate to try to stir up racial tensions at Indianapolis schools is disturbing, to say the least. Instead of the demonstration the flyers called for, the community stepped up to hold their own, positive demonstration.
It would seem that even though we should all be more tolerant of each other and not judging people by their complexion, that some people in and around Indianapolis schools didn't get that memo. The thing that I always try to remember is that no child is born knowing how to hate; that has to be taught.
If young people can be taught to hate, then they can also be taught to be tolerant of others, and the students attending Indianapolis schools are no exception. This is an issue that needs to be addressed in Indianapolis schools, as well as schools nationwide.
An Opportunity to Learn a Lesson at Indianapolis Schools
Given this fact, Indianapolis schools have the opportunity to take this recent event and turn it into an opportunity for students to examine their attitudes toward others and possibly make some changes to their beliefs (and their behavior). Of particular concern to me are those students who were chanting "KKK." Do they understand what that means and what that organization stands for? Are those values that students at Indianapolis schools would be proud to be identified with?
Another way to look at this issue would be for the students going to Indianapolis schools to look at it from the point of view of a person who is black or Hispanic. How would they feel when confronted by this type of material? Would it make them feel angry, hurt, and afraid?
When it comes down to it, these flyers are a form of bullying, just on a larger scale. Instead of picking on a person, a whole group of people are targeted. I am sure that Indianapolis schools are interested in stamping out bullying in all its forms and this recent event gives teachers and school officials an opportunity to address the issue.
All students attending Indianapolis schools deserve to go to school without being picked on or harassed for any reason. The community has indicated that they support this basic right. Now it's time for Indianapolis schools to do their part.
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