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Department of Education Funded by the U. How to talk to your children about bias and prejudice Developed with the assistance of Dr.
Introduction Attitudes about the similarities and differences among people begin in early childhood. Both the seeds of respect and the seeds of intolerance are planted when we are very young and nurtured by our experiences and the attitudes of those around us as we grow up.
The goal is not just to help prevent hate crimes, but to help in the enabling of children to flourish in a diverse society. The best way to do that is to begin talking to children about diversity when they are very young. In doing so we help them begin a dialogue about these exciting, complex, and sometimes painful topics.
Because it is sometimes hard, when faced with difficult questions, to answer them in ways that children understand, we are including in this Website questions asked by parents and teachers around the country. There is no right way to talk to a child about diversity, or about hate crimes, but we hope that these questions and suggested answers will serve as effective guidelines.
About Hate and Hate Crimes What is a hate crime? How is it different from any other kind of illegal act? Hate crimes are the most extreme expression of bigotry and prejudice.
Ranging from vandalism to murder, hate crimes are different from other crimes because they are motivated not by greed or by rage at a particular person, but by hatred against an entire population of people bound together only by their race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or ability.
Why do people commit hate crimes? Some hate crimes are committed by adult hate mongers or members of extremist groups. But many are committed by young people acting out of ignorance, thoughtlessness, or peer pressure rather than hard core hatred. That's why it's important to educate children at an early age to appreciate the similarities and differences among people.
Should young children be introduced to the reality of hate and hate crimes? There's no reason to go out of your way to introduce young children to the concept of hate. It's best if children's early experience of the similarities and differences among groups of people is positive rather than negative.
What's most important is to fill their lives with as many positive experiences with diversity as possible. Children who live in heterogenuous neighborhoods and attend integrated schools have the best opportunity to learn first hand the value of getting to know people whose background and culture differ from their own.
But even children in homogeneous neighborhoods can be exposed to other cultures through books, pictures, music, art, television, and film. Because we live in an imperfect society, it is likely that children will encounter bigotry, prejudice, and even hate as they begin to move about in the world.
They are probably going to encounter bullying in school which may be based on some kind of prejudice. Even if their own lives are free from such experiences, hate and extreme acts of bigotry will infiltrate their lives through newspaper headlines, magazines, television, radio, and the Internet.
When children encounter any form of bigotry it is essential to identify it as such and to talk about it with them. Share your own feelings of outrage, at racially motivated attacks, gay bashing or vandalism of synagogues, churches, mosques, and other places of worship.Factually speaking, Autistic people in many cases do not have an intellectual or cognitive disability, and many people with intellectual or cognitive disabilities are not also Autistic.
It’s an issue that has divided the mental health community to a rare extent. For its advocates, it’s a humane alternative to leaving people to deteriorate to the point where they’ll end up in jail, on the streets, or in acute crisis.
Several weeks ago, people in my high school Wechat group talked about Sino-US relations. One guy in China asked if the US has any weakness, because people who live in the US talked a lot about the strengths of this country.
Children learn prejudice and practice discrimination “through living in and observing a society where prejudice exists” (What to Tell Your Child About Prejudice and Discrimination, n.d.).
For example, children may learn it from watching television, or reading books or magazines. A second case of discrimination, also from California, has made national news; an employee of “the happiest place on earth” was denied the request to add the hijab to her uniform.
Some have also suggested that Namibia has no place in the list. The ILGA report bases its assertion that it criminalises homosexual acts on Dutch common law, but the Namibian constitution prohibits discrimination, and takes precedence over Dutch common law.