My mom is a ninth grade english teacher. The school she teaches at is in the white suburbs of Colorado, and area is also pretty conservative.
Today, her lesson plan involved a Chalk Talk—when a prompt is written on the board and students must answer it only by writing a reply on the board—no talking allowed.
This was the first time she used this prompt, and these are some of the responses she got. 95% of her students are white and conservative, and this is what they had to say. Needless to say, when I saw them, I was shocked. In a good way.
I don’t know how to accurately explain how this fills me with so much hope. All the responses involving homophobia were written by boys—and not just boys, the “sporty jock” boys, in her class. They addressed fat/skinny shaming. They addressed slutshaming. They addressed ableism. To me, these kids are incredible.
And these are from regular 14-year-old kids. Not the “open-minded” ones, not the honors students, but just average, regular kids. The typical societal mindset is changing and it’s incredible to watch.