Blog of Sara Jakša

Why School Are Not A Good Place To Teach Cultural Awareness?

There seems to be a trend recently. More and more am I hearing about the "cultural awareness" and how are we to try to understand people different from us and be friends with them.

While the concept is plausible in theory, the ways how schools decided to tackle this particular topic is a problem.

There was an article about some school in Finland, in a neighbourhood, where a lot of immigrants with their families. The native Finish people were afraid to walk alone, because they could be attacked. And if the attack happened in school, the principal told them, to not hit back. They are immigrants in the country, so we should be considerate with them.

I do not know about you, but I can not see myself be considerate to somebody that attacked me. I would make sure, that he or she would remember for next time, why this was not such a good idea.

But this article reminded me of my school. We would get in trouble for doing something, while the people not from our country would get a pass. They are immigrants so we have to be considerate. I was not a person, that would be intimidated easily, so I was involved in a lot of fights, when they would verbally of physically attacked me. But I was always the one, to get the lecture.

They could get away with stealing, attacking and peeing on the walls. But only if our parents didn't come from our country. We, the 'natives', are supposed to be the normal ones, and we can't do things like that.

When my sister was is school, one of them brought the real gun to school. The principal asked the students, if there is a possibility, that it would not get reported to the police. They did not want to be known as school, where they discriminate against the different people.

Well, the Slovenian language teacher was more sensible, and she did call the police.

Or when there was a person in the invalid chair, that demanded the friendship or more like servitude of everybody around her. One day before the test, on of her schoolmates, she never talked to before, did not want to lent her notes, because she wanted to learn from them. She offered, that she would scanned them and sent her the scans. The offer was refused.

The next week, they had a lecture, that they should not bully her and just do what she wants.

I am aware, that most of the different people are not like that. What I am worried about is, that by acting like that, we are sending them a message, that they will be forgiven, no matter what they do. That is the thing, that worries me the most.