Equity & Diversity Letter to the Editor

In Ending Racial Discrimination, Teachers Should Be Role Models

December 11, 2013 1 min read

To the Editor:

Unfortunately, racial discrimination is still an embedded part of our society. Laws on affirmative action and nondiscrimination in employment were created in an attempt to eliminate such discrimination, but have not been effective in reaching the goal of ending it (“Racial Equity in Schools,” OpEducation blog, Oct. 9, 2013).

The only sustainable solution to effectively eliminate racial discrimination must be through education. More than ever before, teachers have the potential to be huge role models for their students. When teachers provide the spark or drive for their students’ learning experiences, they have more influence than they know. What better way to be that role model than to educate about problems of discrimination?

As a camp counselor and young educator myself, I try to educate and be a positive role model for my campers. Because of this impact on young lives, teachers and educators have a moral responsibility to educate students in a way that looks critically at racial discrimination and instead promotes dialogue, diversity, and understanding in the classroom.

Schools need to devote more resources and effort to providing teachers with a safe and comfortable space to teach values of acceptance, love, and inclusiveness between students in the classroom.

Educating kids about discrimination can be as simple as telling a kid that some words are hurtful to others. But because this sort of education can seem easy, it gets overlooked. If we stress these values and education to stop racial discrimination at an early age, in the future we will not have to worry about our kids being mistreated, or not being hired because of their race.

Zak Newbart

Beloit, Wis.

The author is a freshman at Beloit College.

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the December 11, 2013 edition of Education Week as In Ending Racial Discrimination, Teachers Should Be Role Models


This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Culturally Relevant Pedagogy to Advance Educational Equity
Schools are welcoming students back into buildings for full-time in-person instruction in a few short weeks and now is the perfect time to take a hard look at both our practices and systems to build
Content provided by PowerMyLearning
Classroom Technology Webinar Making Big Technology Decisions: Advice for District Leaders, Principals, and Teachers
Educators at all levels make decisions that can have a huge impact on students. That’s especially true when it comes to the use of technology, which was activated like never before to help students learn
Professional Development Webinar Expand Digital Learning by Expanding Teacher Training
This discussion will examine how things have changed and offer guidance on smart, cost-effective ways to expand digital learning efforts and train teachers to maximize the use of new technologies for learning.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Equity & Diversity Opinion Q&A Collections: Challenging Normative Gender Culture in Education
Ten years of posts on supporting LGBTQ students and on questions around gender roles in education.
1 min read
Images shows colorful speech bubbles that say "Q," "&," and "A."
Equity & Diversity Video These Schools Served Black Students During Segregation. There's a Fight to Preserve Them
A look at how Black people managed to grow a solid middle class without access to so many of America’s public schools.
According to The Campaign to Create a Julius Rosenwald & Rosenwald Schools National Historical Park, the two-teacher school was developed between 1926-1927 and has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 2009. The building is now owned by Cain’s Chapel Missionary Baptist Church, which sits adjacent to it.
The Russell School (also known as Cain’s School), a Rosenwald school in Durham, N.C., pictured on Feb. 17, 2021.
Jaclyn Borowski/Education Week
Equity & Diversity Letter to the Editor Former Teacher: Essay on Equity Falls Short
A retired teacher critiques an essay about equity in this letter to the editor.
1 min read
Equity & Diversity Opinion 'Students Deserve to Know Our History'
Two educators wrap up a four-part series on how teachers should respond to attacks on critical race theory and lessons on systemic racism.
9 min read
Images shows colorful speech bubbles that say "Q," "&," and "A."