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Unite Against Hate!

Resources for students, educators, and families to address and engage in the national dialogue about racism, hate, and bias in the wake of recent events in Charlottesville. Together we must foster safe spaces to move towards justice in education.

“Hate, violence, and racism have no place on our campuses or our cities. We are powerful in our diversity.”
- NEA President Lily Eskelsen García

Tragedy in Charlottesville

How to Respond to Incidents of Racism, Bullying, and Hate in Schools

Many of our students are scared, anxious, and feeling threatened. Here are some steps you can take to respond to incidents of hateful words, actions, and images and make sure your students feel welcome, supported, and valued.

NEA Today: Talking to Students About Charlottesville Violence and Racism
In the wake of the violence in Charlottesville after one of the largest white nationalist rallies in recent years, our kids are confused and scared. They have more questions than ever, and parents and educators who are experiencing their own shock and disbelief are struggling to find the right words to offer.

Lily’s Blackboard: The People We Are Supposed to Be
I am struck by the pictures I’ve seen on the news. I am struck by the faces I see lit by the torches of hate the night before a young woman’s life was taken in an act of terror. This is not who we are supposed to be.

Statement on racial violence in Charlottesville, Virginia
Presidents of Virginia Education Association and National Education Association speak out

NEA Speaks Out

Educators Responding to Hate and Bias in Schools

How to Deal with Acts of Racism and Hate

  • Before a Crisis Occurs
    How can you and other school leaders assess your school’s climate with an eye toward defusing tension, preventing escalation, and avoiding problems?
  • When There’s a Crisis
    What are the key points to consider when responding to a crisis that has been triggered by a bias incident at your school? 
  • After the Worst is Over
    How can you address long-term planning and capacity building for the future, including development of social emotional skills?

White Supremacy

Talking About Race in the Classroom

Helping Children Cope with Traumatic Event

  • NEA Healthy Futures School Crisis Guide
    Knowing what to do in a crisis can be the difference between stability and upheaval. This step-by-step resource created by educators for educators can make it easier for union leaders, school district administrators, and principals to keep schools safe — before, during, and after a crisis. 
  • National Child Traumatic Stress Network                  
    NCTSN has several pdfs and other resources for helping parents and children deal with catastrophic mass violence events, including parent tips for helping school-age children after disasters, which lists children’s reactions with examples of how parents should respond and what they should say.
  • Talking to Children About Tragedies and Other News Events 
    The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) encourages parents, teachers, child care providers, and others who work closely with children to filter information about the crisis and present it in a way that their child can accommodate, adjust to, and cope with.
  • How to Help Kids Feel Safe After Tragedy
    It's normal for both adults and kids to feel anxious after such a publicly devastating event, but there are things you can do to minimize the stress and maintain a sense of normalcy.
  • Incidents of Mass Violence
    Learn about who is most at risk for emotional distress from incidents of mass violence and where to find disaster-related resources.

Teaching Tolerance and Acceptance 

  • Empowering Children in the Aftermath of Hate – What Can Parents and Teachers Do?
    How can we begin and continue conversations about terror and violence with children? What can we say or do to help our children feel safe? The Anti-Defamation League provides some guidance and resources to help answer these questions, including lessons plans for different grade levels.
  • GLSEN’s Ready, Set, Respect! Elementary Toolkit
    We all want students to feel safe and respected and to develop respectful attitudes and behaviors. GLSEN developed Ready, Set, Respect! to provide tools to support elementary educators like you with these efforts. The kit provides a set of tools that will help you prepare to teach about respect and includes lesson plans that can help you seize teachable moments. The lessons focus on name-calling, bullying and bias, LGBT-inclusive family diversity, and gender roles and diversity and are designed to be used as either standalone lessons or as part of a school-wide anti-bias or bullying prevention program.
  • Helping Students Make Sense of News Stories About Bias and Injustice
    When there are national news stories that involve incidents of bias and injustice, young people want to be part of the conversation. Use these suggestions, strategies, and resources to help make those discussions rich and productive for students.

To post, view, and share resources please use #CharlottesvilleCurriculum.  This hashtag was created by Melinda Anderson, a journalist and contributor to The Atlantic.

Take the Pledge:

Take the pledge to change school climate and let’s make our schools Bully Free!