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Preparing to Discuss Michael Brown in the Classroom

Monday, August 25, 2014

Recent events in Ferguson, Missouri involving the shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown have prompted a broad range of emotions across the United States. As some are reminded of the shootings of Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis, and others harken back to the tragic death of Emmett Till in 1955, social protests in Ferguson, Missouri have attracted national and international attention. While the facts of the case are still being sorted out by those in the criminal justice system, these events are teachable moments in classrooms across the District of Columbia Public Schools.

In an effort to support teachers in DCPS who wish to integrate this teachable moment into their classrooms, this document provides:

  • Ten suggestions for preparing and framing a conversation using democratic principles while also allowing students, especially those who have experienced racial profiling, to express their views in a respectful manner;
  • Eight resources teachers can use to build their own background knowledge or to share with students to help frame classroom discussions; and
  • A protocol for engaging students in a process for examining, understanding, and responding to complex issues related to diversity and equity in schools.