A boy was told to give the nazi salute in class. When others followed suit, this girl spoke up.

Last week, an 11-year-old girl was reprimanded and sent to the principal's office for telling several classmates to stop giving the nazi salute.

Yes, you read that right.

As part of an interactive fifth grade social studies class project at the McFadden School of Excellence in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, one student was assigned to portray Adolf Hitler, and according to Huffington Post, his teacher instructed him to give the Sieg Heil salute as part of his presentation.


The girl, whose father later shared the whole story, including back and forth between him and the school administration in a Twitter thread, noted that while she'd initially been given the opportunity to express why the situation upset her, afterwards she was told “not address it again.”

However, because fifth graders can be mean, several students who saw how upset the salute made the girl decided to perform it at her repeatedly.

Keith Jack Gamble, the girl's father, noted that the saluting continued for weeks until some 10 to 20 students were doing it. This finally culminated in Gamble’s daughter shouting “stop it” and “put your hands down" at her classmates, which led to disciplinary action taken against her for being “disrespectful with her tone and body language to teachers.” She was then sent to the principal's office.

While the school claims teachers intervened at the few confirmed instances of harassment and the principal said he gave the entire fifth-grade class a talking to, the school is taking no responsibility for the inciting assignment.

“It was never intended to be offensive and the salute was definitely not encouraged to be performed by the other students,” the school's communications director told HuffPost.

What was intended is hardly the point though. Fifth grade-aged children are incredibly impressionable, and by teaching them to use hateful gestures like that you're opening up a dangerous can of worms. What's perhaps even more troubling though is that the assigning teacher didn't seem to consider that the assignment might be offensive to other students in class in the first place.

The school has since agreed to stop including the nazi salute in history presentations, but many believe the damage has already been done.

This is hardly the first time the nazi salute has appeared in schools in America.

Most recently, a group of High School students in Wisconsin performed it in a group photo as a gag, even though it was distressing to a few students.

Hateful actions, even if they're not necessarily intended to be, are sadly contagious and educators have a responsibility to quell them rather than put them in their curriculum. This is especially important during this highly politically-charged time in America when racism and bigotry have been elevated by a number of divisive groups.

This hate can end with our children as long as we protect them from it as much as we can.

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On an old episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in July 1992, Oprah put her audience through a social experiment that puts racism in a new light. Despite being nearly two decades old, it's as relevant today as ever.

She split the audience members into two groups based on their eye color. Those with brown eyes were given preferential treatment by getting to cut the line and given refreshments while they waited to be seated. Those with blue eyes were made to put on a green collar and wait in a crowd for two hours.

Staff were instructed to be extra polite to brown-eyed people and to discriminate against blue-eyed people. Her guest for that day's show was diversity expert Jane Elliott, who helped set up the experiment and played along, explaining that brown-eyed people were smarter than blue-eyed people.

Watch the video to see how this experiment plays out.

Oprah's Social Experiment on Her Audience www.youtube.com

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Cadbury has removed the words from its Dairy Milk chocolate bars in the U.K. to draw attention to a serious issue, senior loneliness.

On September 4, Cadbury released the limited-edition candy bars in supermarkets and for every one sold, the candy giant will donate 30p (37 cents) to Age UK, an organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for the elderly.

Cadbury was prompted to help the organization after it was revealed that 225,000 elderly people in the UK often go an entire week without speaking to another person.

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Well Being

Young people today are facing what seems to be greater exposure to complex issues like mental health, bullying, and youth violence. As a result, teachers are required to be well-versed in far more than school curriculum to ensure students are prepared to face the world inside and outside of the classroom. Acting as more than teachers, but also mentors, counselors, and cheerleaders, they must be equipped with practical and relevant resources to help their students navigate some of the more complicated social issues – though access to such tools isn't always guaranteed.

Take Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, for example, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years, and as a teacher for seven. Entering the profession, she didn't anticipate how much influence a student's home life could affect her classroom, including "students who lived in foster homes" and "lacked parental support."

Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience, says it can be difficult to create engaging course work that's applicable to the challenges students face. "I think that sometimes, teachers don't know where to begin. Teachers are always looking for ways to make learning in their classrooms more relevant."

So what resources do teachers turn to in an increasingly fractured world? "Joining a professional learning network that supports and challenges thinking is one of the most impactful things that a teacher can do to support their own learning," Anglemyer says.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience.

A new program for teachers that offers this network along with other resources is the WE Teachers Program, an initiative developed by Walgreens in partnership with ME to WE and Mental Health America. WE Teachers provides tools and resources, at no cost to teachers, looking for guidance around the social issues related to poverty, youth violence, mental health, bullying, and diversity and inclusion. Through online modules and trainings as well as a digital community, these resources help them address the critical issues their students face.

Jessica Mauritzen, a high school Spanish teacher, credits a network of support for providing her with new opportunities to enrich the learning experience for her students. "This past year was a year of awakening for me and through support… I realized that I was able to teach in a way that built up our community, our school, and our students, and supported them to become young leaders," she says.

With the new WE Teachers program, teachers can learn to identify the tough issues affecting their students, secure the tools needed to address them in a supportive manner, and help students become more socially-conscious, compassionate, and engaged citizens.

It's a potentially life-saving experience for students, and in turn, "a great gift for teachers," says Dr. Sanderlin.

"I wish I had the WE Teachers program when I was a teacher because it provides the online training and resources teachers need to begin to grapple with these critical social issues that plague our students every day," she adds.

In addition to the WE Teachers curriculum, the program features a WE Teachers Award to honor educators who go above and beyond in their classrooms. At least 500 teachers will be recognized and each will receive a $500 Walgreens gift card, which is the average amount teachers spend out-of-pocket on supplies annually. Teachers can be nominated or apply themselves. To learn more about the awards and how to nominate an amazing teacher, or sign up for access to the teacher resources available through WE Teachers, visit walgreens.com/metowe.

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One of the major differences between women and men is that women are often judged based on their looks rather than their character or abilities.

"Men as well as women tend to establish the worth of individual women primarily by the way their body looks, research shows. We do not do this when we evaluate men," Naomi Ellemers Ph.D. wrote in Psychology Today.

Dr. Ellers believes that this tendency to judge a woman solely on her looks causes them to be seen as an object rather than a person.

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