How local educators are teaching students racial inequality

MEDFORD, Ore. – In light of recent protests nationwide, many educators are looking at their curriculum and how it educates students on racial inequality.

Andy Frye is a social studies teacher for Grants Pass High School.

“One of the things, we as teachers are going to be looking at is how can we do a better job,” said Frye.

He says having conversations about racial discrimination is tough, but an important part of learning about U.S. History and modern day events.

“When we deal with these difficult topics we deal with them respectfully and we’re honest and we lay out the facts,” said Frye.

Educational curriculum has been under fire by protesters nationally for what they call, “Whitewashing” history, meaning the lessons taught are a sanitized version of how historical events actually happened. However, Frye says the textbook is not the main material used in his classes, but rather first-hand accounts and dialogue.

“I’ll be honest some of the discussion in my classroom is far more mature than the grown-ups I’m looking at on Facebook right now,” said Frye.

For private schools, educators tell us they have the benefit of choosing a more flexible curriculum in comparison to some public schools. Saint Mary’s principle says the school uses that to its advantage.

“You want to create a culture, an ethos at your school where these are conversations that people want to talk about because it’s going to be done is a respectful and thought provoking way,” said Principal Jim Meyer.

Saint Mary’s says their international program brings additional experiences to the school.

“That creates for a lot of different perspectives, a lot of different conversations, and a lot of deeper understandings of certain subjects and certain values,” said Meyer.

Those conversations are what both educators say evolves the learning process to better teach the next generation.

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NBC5 News reporter Katie Streit comes from her hometown, Las Vegas. Katie went to the Hank Greenspun School of Journalism & Media Studies at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. While in Las Vegas, Katie won a Student Emmy for her coverage of the Las Vegas Shooting Anniversary. She also hosted and produced the university's political news show, where she interviewed Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak and Congresswoman Dina Titus (NV-1). Her passion for politics turned into a coveted internship at the US Capitol in Washington D.C. In her final months working in the Las Vegas area, she was recognized for her journalism achievements by the Nevada Broadcaster's Foundation. Katie is excited to tell the stories of local Southern Oregonians and Northern Californians. Feel free to contact her at [email protected]
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