Discussing Ferguson in schools

With all the unrest in Ferguson, and its constant stream on social media, your kids can be privy to so much more information than you maybe anticipate.

Local teachers and schools are aware of all the information and news their students can get, and schools recognize the importance to discuss these events.

Students even bring materials into class with questions, wanting to begin a conversation with their classroom.

The teachers and administrators said they really try to make themselves and their classrooms available for discussions because everyone has an opinion.

Paducah Tilghman Social Studies Department Chair, Ashley Adkins says its important to let her students have their own viewpoints, “I do think teachers have a lot of power to influence students and its important I don’t influence them to think what I think.”

Especially when her students have had much time to process last night’s emotionally charged events in Ferguson, “I try really hard to let them process it and I just work as a facilitator in that.”

As a senior, Eli Noneman is grateful his teachers are open to such heavy topics of conversation, “I think its interesting to hear, we have a lot of students in class so I want to be able to hear each point of view, maybe hear some things I hadn’t though of before.”

And though they compare and contrast points and opinions, Noneman says morale is relatively high, “It never gets too heated and its always interesting.”

Primarily because they feel school is their safe place to voice differing opinions especially in the midst of an otherwise contentious atmosphere, “Its ok to have a difference of opinion, its ok for you to hash things out, but this is a safe place to hash that out, ” says Adkins.

Adkins says, “Students are just trying to place this on a timeline and how in the scheme of their own life it fits.”

If your kid brings up the topic, school teachers and administrators encourage you to keep an open mind and engage in conversation with your children.

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