Social Studies teacher Todd Manninen had a guest speaker, Dr. Rosilyn Carroll,academic adviser at Hamline University, come and speak to his class about racism on Friday.
Carrol is originally from the St. Paul area. She came to our school with the goal to help teach and inform students for a day about the effects of Racism and help them try to understand what it truely is defined as. She greatly emphasized her opinion that racism is a social construct.
She began by asking what race is and what it’s defined as. She went into great depth about the history of racism and also focused on the topic of sexism as well. These topics are often considered controversial and not discussed very often which was good for the kids to discuss about openly in class.
“The kids really seem to like the interaction, the reason I brought her in was for the kids to see things from a different perspective and how racism affects people through someone else’s eyes,” said Manninen, She really pushed some of the kid’s buttons and got them into a good discussion.”
With about 20 Minutes left in the block, she had the class participate in a debate on the topic of the mosque being built near the 9/11 terror attack site. Carroll had the kids split into three groups consisting of one group in favor of buildnig the mosque, the second was not in favor and the third was undecided. It didn’t take long and the students were in a pretty heated debate throwing out all their opinions but not without Rosilyn throwing in some points of her own to strengthen each individual sides opinion.
Manninen is planning on having a weekly speaker who focuses on a different topic each week. Tomorrow, he is planning on having a Native American speaker talks about what she has been through throughout her life being of Native American heritage.