Addressing Racial Tension

In this series of clips, students, teachers, and parents describe the role their racial and cultural identity play in their interactions and how they navigate addressing racial tension in a school setting. Interviewers ask each of the participants to communicate with teachers and school administrators on what they would like them to know about their experiences and how they can help build bridges between students. One student suggests that getting students to talk in different activities that aren’t just teambuilding because it’s during conversation that understanding occurs. One parent commented that she’d like to see schools embrace the discomfort that comes with addressing racial tension because it will ultimately make them better educators and help more students. Having these conversations would normalize representation and difference which would ultimately reduce the tensions that exist.

I think just the ability to say that ‘we don’t know and we will do our best’ I think that’s huge. And if conflict comes up, and it will, we will do our best to keep the volume of the conflict at a level that’s manageable.