Teachers prepared to discuss Charlottesville with students

How are teachers are preparing to have tough conversations?

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) - Students in our area were getting ready to go back to school at the same time the country is healing from Charlottesville.

More than 800 teachers and staff with Friendship Public Charter Schools got prepared and excited for a new school year.

In recent days, however, there seemed to be very little to cheer about.

“It was sad. Sad more than anything,” Eric Blood said.

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Teachers said the tragic events that went down in Charlottesville that killed Heather Heyer and hurt so many others may have an effect on kids heading back to the classroom

“The central office is thinking about how to approach this and that every teacher is conscious enough to understand this is a touchy subject in our communities,” Blood said. “It needs to be discussed but in a responsible way.”

“If it is happening on TV, we should be able to talk about it as a group -- as a family in class. Just speak our minds,” Adria Patterson said.

Students told WUSA9 they are curious and want to talk about the situation, but Blood said it has to be done the right way

“You have to obviously allow them to feel like they have a safe space to be able to express their opinions without being attacked,” he said.

“You have to make sure that people are ok and people are not affected by what's going on in the outside world before we can focus on what we can do for the outside world,” Patterson said.

While some educators know that talking and teaching about our country’s dark past with racism can be touchy, they say their jobs are necessary now more than ever.

“Teaching American history in a time period where it looks like things that have happened in our past are rearing their ugly head again is a reason to teach the history,” Blood said.

© 2017 WUSA-TV


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