Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Another reason we can't pretend the outside world doesn't affect our students

This well-written essay by Latoya Peterson at Racialicious points out the reason our society has been unable to eliminate rape: the legal definitions of rape leave out "not-rape," the situations that would be hard to prosecute, even if girls felt they could report.

This phenomena is not particular to girls and women; there are boys and men who are victimized as well. If it's not about sex, then what is it?

As anyone who has sat through health class or a student safety inservice can tell you, the issue is power.

Our society continues to center power on people who abuse it. Companies that waste investor money, adults who take advantage of children, and politicians who pander to special interest groups teach our students that they don't have power and no one cares what happens to them.

What will we, as educators, do to change this? It's not our job alone, but we can't ignore the fact that the children who will lead the country tomorrow feel powerless today.

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