The adage is “to not talk about politics and religion in the workplace”. What they forgot to say, unless you work in a school. And especially when discussing classes of History and US Government. While ParaEducate is not going to take a public political stand on any issue facing the United States unless directly related to education or the disabled community, politics isn’t something we stray into. Except for this time of year every four years.
Well, currently it’s a social topic. Teaching students with disabilities why it is a current social topic and how to hear other points of view is a part of the job. For students who are less socially inclined or younger, if you will pause in your personal opinions for a moment, it is historical that a woman is the nominee for a major political party. We are five days away from the votes finally being tallied. It isn’t just the job of a few, it is the job of every US citizen to vote, that there is no limit other than being eighteen years old to vote.
As an aside, there is a larger movement #CriptheVote of citizens with disabilities who are letting others with disabilities know through social media that they have the right to vote in their communities for all elections and more importantly: their vote matters just like any other vote. How much more inclusive our communities and our country would be when we see that all our eligible citizens are making their choices privately within a ballot of their own choice?
But what about talking or helping a student along with a discussion in a class?
- If it’s about the experience, then let the student stay. The classroom teacher should be leading the political discussion with clear ground rules.
- Your political opinion is your political opinion. Your district may have rules about campaigning. Avoid wearing specific political messages, even right after Election Day. And avoid putting your biases into helping students understand issues at hand. You do have the right to not share with the students on political matters.
But what about the rest of the adage?
Well, it’s a two year anniversary for the National Catholic Board on Full Inclusion. And we would like to send them a hearty shout out for all the work they are doing for Catholic Schools and keeping track as more and more Catholic schools are opening their doors to students who could have been denied entry to these schools previously. National Catholic Board on Full Inclusion is a #BetterTogether partner and we are honored to be sharing the stage with them and three others (Sheryl Zellis, Robert Rummel-Hudson, and The Inclusive Class) in March for our SXSWedu Summit.
Do you have any questions about this week’s blog? Do you want to offer a guest blog? Find ParaEducate online here, here, here, here, and on our website. Paraeducate is a company interested in providing materials, information, and strategies for people working in special education inclusion settings for grades K-12. ParaEducate, the blog, is published weekly during the academic school year on Thursdays, unless a holiday. ParaEducate shares their findings at conferences, through their books, and their academic adaptations.