Teaching your Children how to Deal with Prejudice

This subject hits right at home for me, because my children and I experienced the bad side of prejudice. About eight years ago, we experienced prejudice right in our own back yard. We moved into a new neighborhood, which meant my children went to a new school. We are a mixed family, some of my children are blond and look more like well tanned Caucasians, my other children look more like light skinned African Americans, so starting the new school is harder for my children than most.

On the first day of school my daughters came home from school, angry and hurt. The younger and darker of the two was walking down the hall in school and dropped her books. The older and lighter saw her and stopped to help her out. A teacher seeing this started fussing at my older daughter, saying, “you don’t have to help them.” My daughter asked what she meant. The very stupid teacher explained that she should not help black students. My daughter explained that, the girl she helped was her sister. The teacher said “how awful your mother adopted one of them.” So my daughters were angry when they got home.

The next day my husband and I went to the school, we spoke to the principal who expressed his apologies and called in the teacher. I left the room and let my husband who is Italian speak to her, she then told him that my daughter was helping one of those children in the hall and that she lied about her being her sister, because she felt sympathy for the poor black children. But the teacher thought this line of thinking would be okay to my husband because he too was white. Until the principle and I came out of the other room where we were waiting to hear what she had to say.

I asked her why she would tell my children this, she even went so far as to say to me she needed to speak to my older daughters real mother. Now I was really angry, I told her in not so nice words that I was the mother of both and their birth certificates will prove that but that is not even the point. Who told her it was okay to spout that crap to my children or anyone else’s children.

The school suspended her for 3 days and I wasn’t taking that. I had my church elders get a list of people in the neighborhood and we sent them fliers about the kind of teachers teaching their children. I called in family members one of which was a lawyer and I threatened to sue the school department if they kept this teacher. Finally she was moved from our district, they would not tell us where. So she could poison the minds of other children.

We lived in Missouri, then and learned that this was acceptable in that state. We have since moved to the East Coast where prejudice is not a big problem. But I have taught my children that they are to love their neighbor as Jesus teaches us. To be kind to those who don’t have and to be loving to everyone. We don’t have to put up with that kind of treatment because we are blacks and my husband will not stand for it at any rate.

We also talk to our children now, preparing them for the stupidity they may one day face. We also teach them that racism is the need to be better by an obviously weak mind. Educated people don’t feel that way and that the loving people of the world love them too. We teach them that they count no matter what color they are and that they come from one race. The Human Race.