Addressing Racial Profiling & Stereotyping

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The circumstances surrounding the recent deaths of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, LA, and Philando Castile in Minnesota have, again, generated much debate and discussions about race, justice and the legal system. 

AFT President Randi Weingarten, AFT Secretary-Treasurer Lorretta Johnson and AFT Executive Vice President have added their voices to the discussion. “We must continue to fight for the respect that the African-American community deserves and, especially, to ensure that black men—our sons, brothers and fathers—no longer live in a world where these tragedies are an everyday occurrence…we have no time to waste in addressing bias and racism if we hope to prevent another unnecessary death.”

As educators, we need to help our students work through these difficult to comprehend events by encouraging them to ask questions, help provide as many answers as possible and open up an honest dialogue that allows students to state their opinions in a safe environment.  

The Share My Lesson team has identified lesson plans, activities and classroom resources to help students understand these events while also encouraging them to discuss their feelings about them, and how these events are being discussed across the country.

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Additional Resources

Dr. Becki Cohn-Vargas, director of Not In Our School (NIOS), writes about the reality of racial profiling and the dangers of stereotyping in this blog for Share My Lesson.

These articles from our partners at PBS NewsHour Extra and the Anti-Defamation League focus on the shooting of teenager, Michael Brown, by a Ferguson, MO police officer and the grand jury decision. Each article includes questions to use with your students and links to more resources.

Helping Students Express Their Feelings

Essential question

What would it take for a society to be post-racial?

Recent police-related events in the U.S. have many Americans seeking ways to...

Teaching Tolerance & Respect
Activism & Peaceful Protests
The U.S. Justice System