Published On: Wed, Aug 12th, 2020

Palm Beach County to Offer course on Prejudice and Power

Discrimination and racial relations are two important topics that are ongoing within the United States as well as the rest of the world. 

That is why the Palm Beach County School District is looking to add a new course to educate middle school students on these topics.

According to the Palm Beach County School District the new course will be “Entitled Prejudice and Power: A Discourse on Race and Ethnicity in the United States, the course will give students the opportunity to engage in dialogue about topics such as structural racism and race as a social construct.” 

In a WPTV interview, Brian Knowles, the manager of the office of African, African American, Latino, Holocaust and Gender studies for the Palm Beach County School District said, “It is important for our young people to start to engage in these conversations.” 

(The class will) create student voice around difficult conversations pertaining to race,” Knowles explained.

The course is meant to act as a safe space for young students and “Teachers will act as facilitators, delivering content and concepts through individual and small group work, wherein students can comfortably share their efforts, personal experiences, and thoughts,” notes the Palm Beach County School District. 

“Through education, we have the opportunity to create a just society by educating our youth about the role that they have in dismantling structures founded on racism, prejudice, and discrimination,” said Knowles. 

The course has been in the works for over a year and has yet to be approved by the Florida Department of Education. However, Knowles said recent current events surrounding George Floyd’s death and the protests that followed called for faster implementation. 

Additionally, the reaction to the new course has been good, but there are some who don’t agree according to the Palm Beach County School District. 

“Maybe not everybody is excited about these spaces, but I think that only proves how incredibly important it is to provide those spaces,” said Diana Fedderman, the assistant superintendent for teaching and learning in Palm Beach County.

With the recent death of George Floyd, the Black Lives Matter protests, and other acts of discrimination within the country it is important to educate our youth on these issues and give them an opportunity to voice their experiences. 

“If there is anything a post Parkland has really taught adults is that our students are ready. Our students are ready and capable, and they want to engage in civil discourse,” said Fredderman.

About the Author

- I am currently a junior at Florida Atlantic University majoring in multimedia studies with a journalism concentraion. I am a Newsroom Writer for the Boca Raton Tribune with a passion for investigative journalism work and sharing stories within my community.

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