A different kind of discussion about Thanksgiving
Check out how some elementary school teachers are approaching discussions about Thanksgiving to their students:
LONG BEACH, Calif. – Teacher Bill Morgan walks into his third-grade class wearing a black Pilgrim hat made of construction paper and begins snatching up pencils, backpacks and glue sticks from his pupils. He tells them the items now belong to him because he “discovered” them. The reaction is exactly what Morgan expects: The kids get angry and want their things back.
Morgan is among elementary school teachers who have ditched the traditional Thanksgiving lesson, in which children dress up like Indians and Pilgrims and act out a romanticized version of their first meetings.
He has replaced it with a more realistic look at the complex relationship between Indians and white settlers.
Morgan said he still wants his pupils at Cleveland Elementary School in San Francisco to celebrate Thanksgiving. But “what I am trying to portray is a different point of view.”
Riiight. The fact that this is happening in a San Francisco elementary school tells me all I need to know about Morgan’s motivations.
Becky Wyatt, a teacher at Kettering Elementary School in Long Beach, decided to alter the costumes for the annual Thanksgiving play a few years ago after local Indians spoke out against students wearing feathers, which are sacred in their culture. Now children wear simple headbands.
“We have many mixed cultures in Long Beach, so we try to be sensitive,” Wyatt said. “What you teach little children is important.”
Laverne Villalobos, a member of the Omaha tribe in Nebraska who now lives in the coastal town of Pacifica near San Francisco, considers Thanksgiving a day of mourning.
She went before the school board last week and asked for a ban on Thanksgiving re-enactments and students dressing up as Indians. She also complained about November’s lunch menu that pictured a caricature of an Indian boy.
The mother of four said the traditional Thanksgiving celebrations in schools instill “a false sense of what really happened before and after the feast. It wasn’t all warm and fuzzy.”
After she complained, it was decided that pupils at her children’s school will not wear Indian costumes this year.
After one woman complained??
Morgan, a teacher for more than 35 years, said that after conducting his own research, he changed his approach to teaching about Thanksgiving. He tells teachers at his school this is a good way to nurture critical thinking, but he acknowledged not all are receptive: “It’s kind of an uphill struggle.”
Don’t you just love the way PC moral relativists try to bury their revisionist agendas by claiming all they want to do is to ‘teach the students how to think critically? What turkeys. I think he’s absolutely full of stuffing.
Hat tip: Michelle Malkin