The Absolute Best School Climate Blogging (This Week): The Snacks Video Edition

By Evie Blad — September 05, 2014 1 min read
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Happy Friday, Rules readers. Today I watched this video Funny or Die made with Michelle Obama to help promote new Smart Snacks in Schools regulations, which went into effect July 1. I might be a little out-of-touch with what the kids these days find funny, but I didn’t enjoy this as much as President Obama’s “Between Two Ferns” appearance. Judge for yourself.

SNACKPOCALYPSE with Chloe Grace Moretz, Tyler Posey, and First Lady Michelle Obama from Funny Or Die

But let’s move past internet videos and read some links about school climate, culture, and child well-being instead. This week I recommend links about implicit bias in school discipline, biracial children and their single-race fathers, gender and immigrant men, Ferguson, and the shadow the Newtown tragedy casts over back-to-school season for some parents.

In Missouri...

I'm one adult alone in a room with other people's children in the heart of a community in pain." —A teacher in Normandy Schools, where Michael Brown graduated from high school, writes about teaching there following his fatal shooting this summer.

On immigrant men...

For immigrant men, life in the U.S. can be a transformative experience. But many immigrant fathers work hard to hold onto what it means to be a man in their native countries—while also rejecting more rigid gender roles that are sometimes the norm in their homelands." —NPR covers how immigrant men approach gender, and how they model manhood for their sons.

A white dad raises his biracial son to be a black man...

When you were born, it was clear to me that you would be perceived by whites and blacks and the rest of society as black. So I said to your mother, we need to raise this child as black, and he needs to understand why. Otherwise it will be very confusing and maybe not safe either. And she just said, I'm glad you understood that. So we started from there." —Another NPR piece, a conversation between a biracial son and his white father about racial identity and family bonds.

On implicit bias and discipline...

These negative associations are so embedded in our culture that research indicates you don't have to be racist, nor do you have to intentionally discriminate, to harbor implicit racial biases. So what happens is even well-intentioned (and seemingly unbiased) teachers and principals can perceive their young, black students as disruptive and threatening to the classroom and school safety." —The Education Trust's blog covers the notion of implicit bias in discipline and law enforcement.

Newtown’s shadow lingers...

Since our tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut—and the far-too-frequent school shootings since—many parents have told me that their feelings about the return to school have changed. What used to be a familiar mix of sadness and relief—sadness that another sweet summer is behind us, and relief that our houses will soon revert to the routines of school—now includes an unwelcome sense of fear." —Nicole Hockley, the mother of a Sandy Hook shooting victim, writes for You should also read this piece, written last year by fellow Newtown parent Nelba Marquez-Greene.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Rules for Engagement blog.