Teach Respect for Diversity During the Holidays
photo credit: www.edutopia.com

December is a wonderful time of years for countless Americans.  This is not only for people who celebrate Christmas.  It’s for Buddhists who observe Bodhi Day, Jewish people who celebrate Hanukkah, African Americans who celebrate Kwanzaa, and cultures across the world who celebrate the Winter Solstice. It’s important that you teach respect for diversity during the holidays to all your students.

What is an educator’s biggest problem in December?

For educators, however, the gathering of so many holidays can give rise to the big December problem, how do you recognize and value the large diversity of holidays and customs students deem important without suggesting that some of them are more important than other ones?  To begin with, find one thing that many of the winter holiday traditions share. You can stay away from controversial subjects and still respect a diversity of holidays, characters, and customs as a representation of positive values.

School districts developing guidelines about religious holidays base their
policies in the shared commitment of respect for individual religious beliefs expressed in the
constitutional guarantee of religious liberty. This means that public schools may neither
promote nor inhibit religious belief or non-belief. However, the holidays can be used to explore how a group of diverse people with differing backgrounds and customs actually practice similar values.

For more about teaching respect for diversity during the holidays, read the original article here:
Teaching Holidays in Public Schools