A biracial student in my class is getting teased. What should I do?
It is vital to get all the facts so you understand as clearly as possible what is going on with this student and the children doing the teasing. Whatever the situation, spell out the rules about hurtful remarks or actions in your classroom and the thinking behind those rules. Speak to the target of the teasing, allowing her an opportunity to share her feelings about the situation. Also speak with the children who are doing the teasing to find out why they are engaging in such actions. Encourage them to think about how they have felt when they have been the target of teasing and to consider better ways of interacting with their classmates or better ways to resolve conflicts, if it is uncovered that some or all of the teasing is a result of a disagreement with the targeted child.
To improve children's attitudes, motivate them to explore the mix of races and ethnic ancestries in the United States. Other students probably come from mixed ancestry, too, whether interracial or interethnic. This is also a good opportunity to help your students acknowledge the rich and varied family constellations in today's society, including biracial, adoptive, extended, single parent, and other configurations.