The Big Idea: Students make moral decisions everyday. Usually these decisions revolve around specific actions they take like helping a friend, cheating on a test or obeying curfew. But students also make moral decisions by being silent after witnessing the immoral behavior of others. In these situations, the impulse for self-protection overrides moral obligations. Learning how to choose whether or not to be silent in the midst of injustice is an important part of moral development.
Claim: According to American writer and feminist Audre Lorde, if you don’t speak up, your voice will never be heard. If you don’t stand up for yourself, then you will get taken advantage of. If you don’t stand up against injustice, it will never go away and it will be knocking at your door soon.
Counterclaim: Sometimes being quiet is the right thing to do. You need to be silent to protect yourself or a friend. Minding your own business can offer protection as well.
Essential Question: How do we know when to be silent?
COPY assignment, send to students and start the conversation!
This resource on Audre Lorde comes from the Teach Different where you can learn about a 3-Step method for making these conversations a routine.
Other posts you may like which use this conversation method:
“The Supreme Art of War is to Subdue the Enemy without Fighting.” Sun Tzu