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How can I change a racist student?

Discussion in 'General political debates' started by 363, Jan 17, 2018.

  1. 363

    363Active Member Forum Member


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    Aug 23, 2014
    Male
     United States
    I teach English in a high school, and I have an 11th grade student I suspect of being a white supremacist. He is articulate, confident, and respectful, yet I've been noticing clues which, taken in a cluster, point my suspicion in that direction.

    Here's what I've noticed:
    - Iron Cross necklace
    - Views supporting Christian baker who denied a cake to gay couple (Student not Christian)
    - Saying he's proud to be white
    - Interprets certain topics as "attacks on white culture"

    Most of my instruction is based in Socratic seminar (discussion). I ask questions to all students, presenting them with many scenarios, to get them to scrutinize their worldview and opinions.

    I don't want to lose this kid. What do you suggest?
     

  2. LazyFuck

    LazyFuckNew Member New Member


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    Do you know anything about his friends or the people he hangs out with?
    Also has he already done something directly against other students or is he "just talking"?
     
  3. 363

    363Active Member Forum Member


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    Aug 23, 2014
    Male
     United States
    Friends are a generally conservative white kids, but all claim to be friends with students of color. It's mostly talking, but the solidification of his views would push him into a dangerous direction. Possibly the alt-right-type that attempts to intellectualize their racism.
     
  4. ScottO

    ScottOMember Forum Member


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    What a difficult challenge! The typical approach would be assigning readings from diverse writers to cultivate a sense of empathy and understanding. I suspect you already do that, though.

    I think that a lot of young people get into white supremacy because, like pretty much all teenagers, they're insecure. Imagine being a confused, insecure kid who more than anything doesn't want to appear vulnerable, weak, or isolated. Then along comes a person or website that says: "Look, here's a set of ideas that tell you that if you have it better than others it's because you are better than others! Here's a set of ideas that say that you don't need to feel anything for others! Here's a set of ideas that say you don't need to make yourself vulnerable!" And if you feel oppressed, bullied, or lonely: "Look, here's a set of ideas that say you get to be the oppressor, the bully, the crowd." There's a lot of psychological payoff for the confused kid.

    Maybe focusing on insecurities and such would do something?
     
    363 and LazyFuck like this.
  5. 363

    363Active Member Forum Member


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    Aug 23, 2014
    Male
     United States
    Yeah, that is an interesting way to look at it, and it makes sense. At a time when kids are trying to figure out who they are or create an identity, it's easier for them to attach themselves to certain ideas.

    I like the approach of focusing on insecurities, as I think it will target the core issue. Thanks!
     
  6. TwoHippo

    TwoHippoNew Member New Member


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    Feb 5, 2018
    Male
    Italy Italy
    In the high school, in my classroom i was the only stranger. I felt like bullied by others..It was a difficult period. Fortunately i had my friends. The bullies i think they were racist to me. I hope they changed their life.
     
  7. ScottO

    ScottOMember Forum Member


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    Sorry to hear about your troubles, TW.

    363: How'd it go? Probably a long process, but I 'm curious about the progress.

    Cheers all!
     
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