A story yesterday from Jacksonville, Florida raises some difficult questions about what we want to teach our children.
According to News4Jax.com, a parent of a second grader complained at the coloring book his child brought home. The coloring book, “Who Was Jim Crow?” by edhelper.com, included some disturbing racial imagery. Not least shocking was a picture of a crowd lynching a victim.
As a historian, I think we need to teach young people the sometimes-disturbing story of America’s past. But this sort of classroom material raises all sorts of questions:
- How old do Americans need to be to learn about racial stereotyping?
- How should students be taught about America’s history of racial violence?
- Should teachers be using cheap on-line teaching materials like this? Even if the school board approved them?
- Is this an example of racial political correctness gone wild? Or is this an example of classroom racism?
- Can offensive racial stereotyping ever make good teaching materials?