If you haven’t had a chance yet, you’ll want to read The Psychology of Hate Groups: What Drives Someone to Join One? an article by Elizabeth Chuck. Fear is at the heart of hatred. Around the country, hate is on the rise. According to this article, one hates because of limited exposure to others, dislike of something associated with one’s own identity, fear of the unknown and a fear of anything that isn’t within one’s own sense of normalcy. Displays of bigotry and hatred in the form of Neo-Nazi rallies also fuel these fears and galvanize some to associate themselves with these hate groups. And, our children are watching, reading and listening. There is so much at stake if we don’t help our children to process what is happening and understand that bias, bigotry and hatred have a strong basis in fear. This climate of hatred is unsettling for children and causes them to feel anxious, worried and confused. It is important for us to have age appropriate conversations with them. You might find this article from the Los Angeles Times and this article from CNN helpful. Remember, our children are watching, reading and listening.
Valerie Henning-Piedmonte, Superintendent of Schools