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Leadership Conference on Civil Rights Education Fund

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Safe and Drug Free Schools Program U.S. Department of Education

Funded by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, and the U.S. Department of Education, Safe and Drug-Free Schools Program.

Issue/Question:
Sometimes I feel guilty about my own feelings of prejudice, which I try to overcome. How can I help my students become freer from prejudice than I am?

Suggested Response:

Because we live in a society that has not yet eliminated racism, sexism, anti-Semitism, heterosexism, and fear of disabilities, all of us have to struggle to quell the prejudices that we have absorbed overtly or inadvertently over the years. Recognizing and identifying your own beliefs as overgeneralizations and prejudices rather than fact is a good first step. By helping your students view the examination of diversity and all isms as a continuous process in their lives, by promoting awareness of the harmful effects of prejudice, and by identifying bias as it occurs in daily life, you will help undoubtedly help them grow into adults unfettered by constricted, prejudicial beliefs.
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