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Tough conversations after Charlottesville: Week in Review special edition

A candlelight vigil at the White House on Sunday, after the racist violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.
A candlelight vigil at the White House on Sunday, after the racist violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Ted Eytan / Creative Commons

This weekend’s violent attack on demonstrators against a white nationalist group in Charlottesville, Virginia, has left many teachers and parents wondering how to discuss it and other issues related to race with children.

Great teachers are experts at difficult conversations. If you want to share your experiences with us and perhaps help others, fill out this short form. We’ll publish a roundup of responses on Chalkbeat. Your stories can help others looking for the right words.

In the meantime, here are some resources that can help with these discussions. They can also help you consider what you may still have to learn when talking about race.

TALK THE TALK: The New York Times’ number one tip is don’t avoid the issue of race. BuzzFeed is one of many publications that explains how to raise race-conscious children, but the LA Times talks specifically about discussing the violence in Charlottesville with kids. “Only white people,” said a little girl to a black boy who wanted to get on a playground ride. How the parent responded.

This writer believes the conversations should not only happen in individual classrooms but also at the school level.

IN DETROIT SCHOOLS: A federal civil rights lawsuit filed on behalf of Detroit kids described horrifying scenes such as an eighth-grader teaching a class. This Detroit teacher uses music to expose students to history, politics and power. Parents must make hard choices about accessing the best schools. One new program is teaching kids while their parents are at the laundromat.

OTHER CHALKBEAT RESOURCES: Great teachers offer advice on talking about race. Why one mother in Nashville is not anxious about sending her child to the neighborhood school. We explain when private schools can discriminate against students.

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