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‘Moments Like Now Are Why We Teach’: Educators Tackle Tough Conversations About Race and Violence — This Time Virtually

Reading about Brown v. Board of Education over Google Meet. Holding one-on-one Zooms with students struggling with their emotions. Planning lessons on criminal justice reform for the fall — both in-person and remote, in case school buildings don’t reopen.

Educators across the U.S. already adapting to remote teaching due to the coronavirus pandemic now find themselves facing another challenge: supporting, educating, and engaging students during waves of protest and unrest. The outrage stemming from the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and other recent police killings of black citizens has led to demonstrations, violent clashes with police, and curfews in numerous cities.

Navigating discussions about race relations, police brutality, and systemic racism can be challenging for teachers even during normal times. But grappling with these topics during a pandemic, when school communities can’t learn together in person, is even more difficult.

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