Journal of Educational Controversy

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Monday, September 1, 2014

Should the Death of Michael Brown be Discussed in the Public School Classroom: An Illinois School District says “No”


Author Paul Thomas raises this question in light of an Illinois school ban on discussions over the death of Michael Brown at the hands of a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. See his article:
“Illinois School Bans Discussions of Michael Brown's Death --Prohibiting students from talking about events in Ferguson offers them exactly the opposite of what they need” on AlterNet: http://www.alternet.org/education/illinois-school-bans-discussions-michael-browns-death?paging=off&current_page=1#bookmark

Paul’s arguments on “reclaiming civic duties of schools” and “learning to address our inadequate world” continue a discussion of the issues he raised in two articles published earlier in the Journal of Educational Controversy. We would be interested in hearing from teachers on ways they are handling the issue in their own classrooms or if they agree that such topics are off limit.

To read Paul Thomas’ earlier articles in the Journal of Educational Controversy, see:
“Of Rocks and Hard Places: The Challenge of Maxine Greene’s Mystification in Teacher Education” in VOLUME 5, NUMBER 1, WINTER 2010 issue on the theme, “Art, Social Imagination and Democratic Education”
and
“Universal Public Education—Our (Contradictory) Missions” in VOLUME 6, NUMBER 1, FALL 2011 / WINTER 2012 on the theme, “The Education and Schools our Children Deserve”

1 comment:

Celia Wilson said...

I agree that banning a conversations about how Michael Brown was murdered is counter productive and somewhat short sighted. Many American youth witness this type of thing in their neighborhoods, and their schools (as we know). They want someone to discuss it with. They need someone to help them make sense of it. Talking about it can actually help them formulate plans of their own to avoid the same fate. I think it would be an engaging topic.