Amidst the escalation of the Black Lives Matter BLM movement, resurgence of humanitarian refugee and immigration decisions, and the rise in white supremacy groups, the California State University system (23 colleges) just approved an ethnic studies and social justice course to be included in their general education requirement for a bachelor’s degree. It’s about time schools include discussions about race, discrimination, and equity.
I believe that these discussions should start in kindergarten and continue as part of the curriculum framework through 12th grade. Children are not born with hatred about people who are different from themselves; they are taught these awful biases from family, friends, neighbors and community. By learning about various ethnicities and religions at an early age, I hope children will grow up appreciating cultural differences. In middle and high school, students should learn about the history of discrimination in the US and the world. They can be encouraged to support people who are shunned, and they can start projects to stop injustices from happening.
I applaud the CSU system for recognizing the need to educate students about social justice issues that have spiked and run amuck. I do hope that these courses will be incorporated in the K-12 curriculum to start these important discussions while children are formulating their life-long opinions.