Learning at a Young Age
Although children are not born prejudiced, they often learn to hate before they are old enough to understand why. Name-calling, bullying, harassment, and other bias-related behaviors are common occurrences in the hallways of our schools. According to a recent FBI Report, youth under 21 committed 50 percent of all reported hate crimes. But the escalation of prejudice into acts of hate can be combated.
Educators, parents and caregivers can teach children to celebrate the richness and beauty of our multicultural society by creating climates of respect at home and in the classroom. All citizens - young and old alike - benefit from opportunities to learn about and interact with individuals who have diverse cultures, histories, and experiences. Through the education of our youth and the creation of forums where dialogue on these issues can occur, we can transform our communities into respectful and caring places free from hate.
Addressing the roots of prejudice in our communities, workplaces, and houses of worship sets an example of courage and hope for the future of our society, the future that our children will inherit.
For more information on talking to children about prejudice and discrimination, visit the links below: