Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Handling Racial Bigotry in School

Q: This guy at school makes racist remarks every time he passes me. I can’t ignore it anymore. Is there any way to handle this guy without a big fight?

A: There are several options you can take in this situation. One option is telling a counselor at school, someone who is not going to punish the student, but who can arrange a time for the two of you to sit down and will mediate a discussion. Another option is to notify someone who may talk with the guy individually, again, a counselor, a principal, or teacher, someone who will take time and let him know that his behavior is unacceptable. Try to make sure they either say, “We have heard some inappropriate comments from you,” or “Some people have brought to our attention that…” Anything to exclude your name or part in this. You want them to allow him to know there is a problem and others are noticing the inappropriate behavior.

In addition to bringing others into the situation, like I mentioned above, you could try to be overly nice to this guy. This places you in a proactive position instead of a reactive one. I have heard multiple times that hate breeds hate. The only way to conquer hate is by love. It will be a very difficult task; it takes a big person to be kind to someone who is disrespectful. Kill him with kindness and see what happens.