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Sun and racism : a teacher’s feedback

A french teacher talks how the LWS program helped her discussing racism in her classroom.

Virginie –
Thanks for this teaching guidebook. In my 4th grade class, I found it very interesting to connect our newspaper reading/writing work – « racism and discrimation » is the theme – with a new, health-oriented notion : the origin of the different skin colors. Later this year, we plan to visit the Cité de l’Espace’s exhibition about the sun and its energies in Toulouse. Here’s some good multi-disciplinary work on the way ! For sunbeams, tough, we’ll have to wait patiently – unless some lucky shiny people decide to send us a little.

Sophie –
Here’s a funny yet quite pessimistic story about our struggle against day-to-day racism : one day, while I was working on the connection between skin color and solar risk with my pupils, one of the girls in the class raised her hand and said : « Madam, now there’s an avantage of being black ! ». No comment….

David Wilgenbus : Thanks for sharing this story with us. It reminds me of a similar experience we had two years ago in a Paris-area class. An indian kid,  really dark-skinned, didn’t want to hear us saying he was black. He would have felt truly insulted – and his fellow white and arab classmates would have, too. Then we worked on the origins of skin colors, and after that, he was proud to discover he was « adapted » for a sunny environment. Parents wrote a letter to the teacher to thank her for dealing with this issue. We understand that fighting racism is an everyday struggle though, and unfortunately, the end of the battle is not even close.

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