I BRAVELY AND WILLINGLY DISCUSSED POLITICS WITH 7TH GRADERS

  1. We've been watching the CNN 10 student news video everyday.
  2. On Friday I really struggled with whether or not I wanted to have them watch Trump's inauguration.
    I ended up deciding not to. While it was historic, I also didn't want to give it more viewers.
  3. But today's CNN 10 was focused solely on the inauguration.
  4. So, we watched. I made them actually be quiet and focused during it.
  5. This was easier said than done. The morning class immediately started copying/mocking his constant hand motions.
  6. But afterwards, before we moved on to the Middle Ages, I asked a simple question:
    What did you take away from his speech?
  7. And we actually had a discussion.
    I firmly reminded them all that we are to be respectful and listen to other people's opinions, even if (and especially if) it is different from their own.
  8. (And remember, I'm from the Central Valley of California. And to sum up the diversity in my classroom: the blonde hair is very outnumbered)
  9. What did they take away from Trump's inauguration speech?
  10. Illegal immigration, the wall, ISIS, refugees, "the people ruining the government," "politicians complaining but not doing anything," how "he talked about Mexicans coming in and taking all the jobs but they're doing the jobs the Americans don't want," etc
  11. I have one girl who is a die hard trump supporter. The rest think he's a cheeto. But it's always fascinating to ask them questions and tell that they are just regurgitating what they've heard their parents say. But there is also a lot of fear too.
  12. And so I reminded them that we listen to other opinions, but we research and look for facts to form our own opinions.
  13. I had a couple ask who I voted for. Pretty sure we aren't supposed to say. I like them to figure things out on their own. So I said, "if you've been paying attention, you can probably guess."
  14. Educate the children. There is hope for the future.