Photo © Carolina Kroon

Taking a Knee – at School

Some students, inspired by Colin Kaepernick and other athletes, are using the national anthem as a moment to protest racial injustice and police shootings of unarmed black men.  And some school administrators are trying to stop them from doing it.

But the law is clear: Students’ right to free speech cannot be curtailed unless it disrupts the educational process. For more, see this 1½ minute Education Week video.

It’s about more than rights. Schools should be encouraging young people to learn and care about important issues – and take action to address them. It’s part of becoming an active citizen. As JoAnn Bartoletti, executive director of National Association of Secondary School Principals, writes:

A student’s taking a knee can trigger a crucial conversation about the nature of protest, about what taking a knee represents, and even about why it might offend some observers. But students must first know that school is a safe place where they can learn to amplify their voices courageously and constructively. They need to be empowered to have those conversations now so those skills are well practiced when they participate in a democracy.

Webinar: Using SEL to Improve the Classroom Climate

In case you missed it: Check out our 1-hour webinar on Improving Classroom Climate with Social and Emotional Learning, hosted by AFT's Share My Lesson recently.  Our Senior Program Manager Kristin Valdes shares concrete strategies you can use every day, demonstrated with classroom footage.  

To find out about more resources like this, and to get our latest SEL tips and current issues lessons, sign up for our enewsletter.

Want more info about bringing our programs to your district or NYC school? Talk to us! info@morningsidecenter.org

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