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A cop asks if she has a weapon. He doesn't like her quick response.

In just under four minutes, two women expose some hardcore reasons why lots of kids just don't like school.

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The Atlantic Philanthropies

For these women, a few reasons come to mind...

If you missed it, here's why Denice Frohman, Dominique Christina, and lots of other folks might not like school.


The experience they lay out in this spoken-word performance begins with a police officer greeting them at the entrance of their high school, a common security measure in the wake of campus violence that often makes students feel like they're entering a war zone. But unfortunately, that's not where it ends.

As described in the poem, a typical day starts off like this:

A police officer greets them at the front of their high school.

He's got a gun perched on each hip.

He asks them if they have any weapons.

Their response?

Being treated like a criminal wasn't the worst part about their high-school experience though.

What really stings is sitting in a classroom and feeling like you don't exist.

When kids are taught that only one group of people is responsible for the history of a vast, diverse nation, they feel left out … unmotivated ... unimportant … all of the hurt feelings.

"The first time I read a book by a Latina author, I was in college. The wind in my chest stood up. It had been 18 long years of textbooks filled with everything but me. For the first time, my body knew a world that could hold it. The quickest way to silence a mouth is to treat it as if none had come before." — Denice Frohman

The tendency for history classes to breeze over the contributions of women, people of color, and LGBT folks is not necessarily the fault of teachers. They're often only passing along what they know. But we've got to do better.

In addition to treating kids as students — not criminals — overall curriculum needs a makeover.

Here's a few resources that focus on telling our diverse history. They include cool lesson plans for teachers.

Zinn Education Project

Rethinking Schools

GLSEN

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For some people, every day is Independence Day. For Janis Shinwari, this will be his first 4th of July as an American citizen. And boy, he earned it.

"If I was in Afghanistan—if I didn't come here, I wouldn't be alive now. I would be dead." Shinwari told CNN Heroes in 2018. Shinwari risked his life for nine years serving as a translator for U.S. forces in his native country of Afghanistan. He risked his life everyday knowing that should he be caught by the Taliban, the consequences would be severe. "If the Taliban catch you, they will torture you in front of your kids and families and make a film of you." Shinwari said. "Then [they'll] send it to other translators as a warning message to stop working with the American forces."

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