As teachers and students return to the classroom this fall, a number of Facing History teachers are hitting the books themselves. One of them is Daniel Warner, a history teacher in Memphis, Tennessee and recipient of the prestigious James Madison Graduate Fellowship for advanced study in constitutional history and government.
A book recently came into my possession that has been tossed around in my family like a hot potato for several generations.
Entitled Religion and Slavery: A Vindication of Southern Churches, the book's author was James McNeilly, a Presbyterian minister and confederate veteran from Nashville, Tennessee. Inside the front cover is an inscription from the author to my great-great-great-grandmother.
"To Corinne Lawrence: A tried and true friend of many years—and a devoted lover of the Old South which I have tried to vindicate."
Last week, the United States media reported on an event that took place at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA).
A month ago, UCLA student Rachel Beyda put herself forward as a candidate for a student judicial board position. In the interview process, a student board member asked her, "Given that you are a Jewish student and very active in the Jewish community, how do you see yourself being able to maintain an unbiased view?"
Members of the board then debated her candidacy and her ability to be unbiased.
Global law firm, Holland & Knight, volunteered to read over 5,200 essays for the 2017 Facing History Together Student Essay Contest.
This past fortnight has seen an alarming number of antisemitic and racist incidents in the news: in Germany, two people were killed and many more terrorised in a mass shooting attempt that targeted a synagogue; in Bulgaria, football fans taunted players with racist chants and Nazi salutes; in Hertfordshire, a teacher allegedly “joked” about sending primary school pupils who failed to complete their work “to the gas chamber”(and then told them not to tell anyone); and in politics, another Labour politician resigned from the party citing the rise of antisemitism as the reason for her departure.
National Anti-Bullying Week takes place in the United Kingdom 17th to 21st of November. This year's theme is "let's stop bullying for all."
In a Facing History and Ourselves classroom, asking students to question and think critically is challenging every day, but especially when we read headlines about violence in communities close to home. During the week leading up to Thanksgiving, a video showing the 2014 murder of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald by Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke was released on the same day that Mr. Van Dyke was charged with first-degree murder. Facing History offers essential questions to consider and strategies for helping students process the myriad thoughts, feelings, and opinions they are experiencing.