I apologize for only just responding to your reply, but for some reason I either didn’t get a notification regarding it or just missed it. While I am extremely sorry to read about the effect seeing pictures of your people being harmed in the Vietnam War had on you, I must respectfully point out that was (I assume) the impact the pictures were supposed to have on you and other children in the classroom, regardless of their ethnicity. War is ugly. Sanitizing it in the classroom only makes it more likely future generations will go to war, not less. We want our children disturbed, not comfortable or feeling “safe”, at least when it comes to certain topics. Of course any discussion of these topics should be age appropriate, but around the 7th grade sounds about right to me. Certainly everyone should be mature enough to handle uncomfortable, controversial, or just plain disturbing topics by high school.

So while I understand the discomfort that’s going to come with the use of particular words or images, that discomfort is inevitable. Lynchings really happened, Vietnam really happened, disrespectful language was/is really used by certain people, the Holocaust is not a myth and the images associated with it are very ugly. We can’t teach about these things accurately AND make people feel “safe”. If safety is the priority there are only two choices: ignore the topic altogether or lie about the events by sanitizing them.

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US citizen residing in British Columbia, Canada. Degrees include anthropology and environmental studies. Activism, politics, science, nature.

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