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How Should Schools Respond to Racist Jokes?

Have you ever heard hateful jokes at your school? How did your teachers deal with these incidents?



Have you ever heard racist jokes or comments at your school? Do you think that hateful speech — in class or online — is a big problem for your school community?

How do your teachers and school administrators deal with these incidents? Do you think their responses are effective?

In “How Do You Respond to a Young Person Upset by Racist Jokes at School?,” Dashka Slater writes:

The sixth-grade boy who raised his hand was wiry and small. “People at my school make racist jokes,” he said, when I called on him. His voice had yet to change. “How do I get them to stop?”

I was sitting on a high school stage in Piedmont, Calif., where I had finished a conversation with two high school seniors about my new book, “Accountable,” which was adapted in The New York Times Magazine last August. Both the article and the book tell the story of the turmoil that befell a California high school and its community after some students created and shared racist material on an Instagram account. Since the article and book came out, I have spoken at schools around the country about the issues the story raises: social media radicalization, racism, humor, boy culture, the impacts of bullying and the vexing question of how to respond effectively.



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