Black Lives Matter: A Catalyst for Change in Education

The Black Lives Matter movement has transcended beyond the call for justice in policing—it has sparked a global conversation about racial inequality in various sectors, including education. In particular, it has shone a light on the educational disparities faced by Indigenous university students and has underscored the need for teaching about social justice and persuasive writing from early years of schooling.

Indigenous students pursuing university education often face significant barriers that hinder their academic success. These obstacles can range from financial hardships to cultural alienation within predominantly white campuses. The systemic nature of these challenges requires multifaceted solutions, including increased access to scholarships, mentoring programs, culturally aware counseling services, and curricula that reflect Indigenous histories and contributions.

The influence of the Black Lives Matter movement on educational reform does not stop at higher education. It also emphasizes the importance of incorporating social justice themes into early childhood education. Persuasive writing is a powerful tool taught at this stage that can empower young learners to articulate their thoughts on fairness, equality, and human rights. By integrating these critical themes into lesson plans, educators can nurture empathy and awareness in their students from a young age.

Teaching persuasive writing with topics related to social justice not only develops literacy skills but also shapes future citizens who are attuned to the complexities of the societal fabric around them. These lessons lay foundations for respectful dialogue and informed activism—a step towards closing not just educational gaps but promoting societal unity across diverse populations.

In conclusion, the Black Lives Matter movement is not only transforming societal norms but is also fostering educational evolution. The push for equitable treatment across all levels of education is creating pathways for necessary discussions and changes within academic institutions from early learning to university levels. This movement encourages educators to be catalysts for change—inspiring Indigenous students to thrive in university environments while empowering younger generations through persuasive writing to voice their stand on meaningful issues.

Eradicating Anti-Semitism through Education: A Path to Promote Understanding and Respect


Anti-Semitism is a form of discrimination and prejudice against Jewish people that has persisted throughout history. It has caused immense pain, suffering, and loss for Jewish communities worldwide. One of the most effective ways to combat anti-Semitism is through education. This article explores how education can play a significant role in eradicating anti-Semitism and fostering understanding, respect, and acceptance among individuals from diverse backgrounds.

The significance of education in combating anti-Semitism:

Education is a powerful tool to transform minds, attitudes, and behaviors. It is essential in promoting tolerance, understanding, and respect for diversity. Through education, we can teach our children values such as empathy, human rights, and critical thinking that empower them to challenge hate, prejudice, and discrimination.

1. Curriculum reform:

An unbiased and comprehensive curriculum is crucial in addressing anti-Semitism at its roots. Schools should include lessons on various cultures and religions so that students gain an understanding of diverse perspectives without perpetuating stereotypes or promoting prejudice. To do this effectively, educators must integrate age-appropriate resources on Jewish history, culture, accomplishments, contributions to society as well as the Holocaust’s horrors.

2. Teacher training:

Teachers play an essential role in shaping young minds and guiding students towards embracing diversity instead of fearing it. Effective teacher training programs should involve workshops on cultural competence and sensitivity training that focus on Jewish culture and traditions. This will allow teachers to create inclusive environments for dialogue and dispel the myths associated with anti-Semitic beliefs.

3. Youth empowerment programs:

Empowering young people to reject hate requires involving them in initiatives that develop their leadership skills and foster empathy for marginalized communities. Programs such as peer-led workshops or seminars which tackle sensitive topics like anti-Semitism can provide students with the tools needed to challenge discriminatory behavior actively.

4. Interfaith dialogue:

Promoting interfaith dialogue inside classrooms can lead to a better understanding of different religions and belief systems. Encouraging students to form friendships with individuals from diverse denominations can help bridge the gaps caused by ignorance or misunderstanding. It also creates an opportunity for Jewish and non-Jewish students to challenge misconceptions about Judaism that perpetuate anti-Semitism.

5. Commemoration and remembrance initiatives:

Remembering the historical events that led to widespread hatred against Jews, like the Holocaust, is necessary for fighting anti-Semitism. Educators should allocate time each year to host commemorative events and provide students with educational resources on the historical context and implications of these events.


Education serves as a powerful weapon in the fight against anti-Semitism. By reforming curricula, training teachers, empowering young minds through leadership programs, promoting interfaith dialogue, and highlighting the importance of remembrance initiatives, we can steadily break down the barriers that cultivate prejudice. With ongoing efforts in these areas, we can eradicate anti-Semitism and build a world based on understanding, tolerance, and mutual respect.

An Investigation into the Effects of Seroxat


Seroxat, also known as paroxetine, is an antidepressant medication belonging to the Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) class. Since its approval in the 1990s, the drug has been prescribed to millions of patients worldwide for various mental health disorders such as major depressive disorder, anxiety disorders, and PTSD. However, concerns have arisen over potential adverse effects associated with Seroxat use. This article will explore such effects and closely examine the investigations into the safety and efficacy of this drug.

Side Effects of Seroxat

Like all medications, Seroxat carries a possibility of side effects. Common side effects include nausea, dry mouth, drowsiness, constipation, appetite changes, and sexual dysfunction. While many patients experience minimal or no side effects when using the drug as prescribed, some individuals may still encounter problems.

The Controversy

The scrutiny of Seroxat mainly revolves around three main concerns: withdrawal symptoms, increased risk of suicide ideation or behavior in adolescents, and birth defects when used during pregnancy.

1. Withdrawal Symptoms: Many patients have reported experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms upon stopping or reducing their Seroxat dosage. These symptoms can include flu-like feelings, dizziness, insomnia, and electric shock sensations. Over time, the increasingly-referred-to phenomenon as “discontinuation syndrome” has prompted further investigation into the drug’s potential for dependence and long-term use consequences.

2. Adolescent Suicide Risk: A significant concern with Seroxat is its potential for increasing suicidal thoughts and behaviors in adolescents. Some studies have shown increased suicide risk in this age group compared to those taking placebo or other antidepressants. In response to these findings, the FDA issued a black-box warning for SSRIs like Seroxat in 2004 to highlight this risk.

3. Birth Defects: Concerns have also arisen about possible associations between Seroxat use during pregnancy and birth defects such as heart malformations, persistent pulmonary hypertension, and craniosynostosis. This has led to further studies on the safety of using Seroxat in pregnant women.

Investigating Seroxat’s Safety and Efficacy

Numerous studies have been conducted to assess the safety and efficacy of Seroxat for treating various mental health disorders. While some research supports its use as an effective treatment, other studies question its overall safety.

In light of the controversies mentioned above, regulators and pharmaceutical companies have engaged in extensive post-market surveillance to ensure proper communication of potential risks to healthcare professionals and patients. In some cases, lawsuits have been filed against the manufacturer, GlaxoSmithKline, for allegedly downplaying the risks associated with the drug – leading to settlements and updated warning labels.


While millions of individuals have benefited from Seroxat as an antidepressant treatment, concerns remain about its potential adverse effects. It is vital for healthcare professionals to weigh the drug’s benefits against its possible risks when prescribing it. Patients should actively participate in their treatment plan by discussing their concerns with their physicians. As investigations into Seroxat continue, further data may emerge that will help ensure its safe and appropriate usage for those in need of mental health treatment.

Secondary Assembly: Why Do We Remember “Black History”?


Black History Month is celebrated annually, generally in February, to recognize the contributions and achievements made by Black individuals throughout history. In schools, colleges, universities, and communities worldwide, events are organized to highlight the significance of Black culture and its rich heritage. Secondary assemblies often cover the topic of “Black History” to educate students on its importance. But why do we remember “Black History” and ensure that its legacy is cherished? Here are some key reasons:

Acknowledging Contributions

Many groundbreaking accomplishments by Black people have been overlooked or obscured by mainstream history. Remembering Black history provides an opportunity to acknowledge these achievements and celebrate the geniuses who made them possible. This includes inventors, scientists, artists, writers, activists, athletes, and more.

Promoting Equality & Diversity

Recognizing Black history encourages discussions about race and diversity in schools. When students learn about the accomplishments and struggles of people from various backgrounds, they can appreciate others’ experiences and understand their difficulties. This helps create accepting environments where everyone’s heritage is respected.

Challenging Stereotypes & Prejudices

Black history celebrations help challenge stereotypes and prejudices against Black people. They shed light on historical figures who defied odds to succeed in their fields, providing a broader perspective on the contributions made by the Black community.

Amplifying Voices

By embracing Black history in schools, we help amplify often-overshadowed voices from marginalized communities. This ensures that these narratives are included as part of mainstream conversations.

Addressing Social Injustice

Understanding the historical context of racism can empower students to become active changemakers who confront injustices and discrimination in society. They will recognize their role in breaking down barriers and participate in the ongoing fight for justice.

Cultural Awareness

Teaching about Black history allows students to learn about a rich culture filled with unique customs, music, culinary traditions, literature, and more. This promotes cultural awareness, inclusivity, and global consciousness among students.

Inspiring the Next Generation

Highlighting the achievements of Black individuals inspires young people from all backgrounds to set high aspirations for themselves. It shows that regardless of race or ethnicity, anyone can make a positive impact on the world.


Remembering and celebrating Black history is crucial for fostering empathy, promoting equality and diversity, challenging prejudices, addressing social injustice, and inspiring future generations. Secondary assemblies on “Black History” provide students with valuable knowledge that empowers them to make a positive difference in their communities and the world. Our collective memory should include not just a single month but an ongoing celebration of Black history throughout the year.

Secondary Assembly – Standing Up to Hatred


In today’s society, hatred and divisiveness have become all too common. It’s essential that we take the time to address these issues and learn how to stand up against them. This article will focus on understanding hatred, its consequences, and how secondary assembly can be used as a platform to promote unity, tolerance, and respect for one another.

Understanding Hatred:

Hatred is a strong feeling of dislike or hostility towards a person or group. It can stem from various factors, such as differences in opinion, race, religion, or background. Hatred can manifest in various ways, including discrimination, prejudice, harassment, and violence.

Impact of Hatred in Schools:

The presence of hatred within the school environment can negatively affect students’ well-being and hinder the development of an inclusive atmosphere. It can lead to increased bullying and mental health issues for those targeted by hate speech or actions. Furthermore, it prevents students from embracing diversity and learning to respect other’s beliefs and cultures.

Role of Secondary Assembly:

Secondary assemblies play a crucial role in fostering healthy attitudes among students and building a sense of community within schools. By dedicating time to discuss social issues like hatred during these gatherings, educators can guide students towards developing empathy and taking an active part in combating intolerance.

Strategies for Standing Up to Hatred:

1. Education: Educate students about different cultures, religions, and belief systems to promote understanding and respect for one another.

2. Encourage Open Dialogue: Create a safe space for students to share their thoughts, experiences, and opinions without fear of reprisal.

3. Be an Ally: Encourage students to be supportive of one another and stand up for those who are facing discrimination or prejudice.

4. Counteract Hate Speech: Teach students how to recognize hate speech when they encounter it and teach them appropriate ways to handle such situations.

5. Celebrate Diversity: Organize school events that celebrate the rich diversity and multiculturalism within the community.


Secondary assembly can serve as an essential platform to stand up to hatred, promoting empathy, understanding, and unity among students. By fostering a school environment that values tolerance, respect, and inclusivity, we can contribute to the betterment of society as a whole and build a future free from hate and discrimination.

Ashura and Self-Flagellation


The ritual of Ashura holds a paramount position in Islamic history, commemorating the martyrdom of Imam Hussain, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad. It is an intensely emotional event for Shia Muslims, as it evokes the image of the faithful standing up against tyranny. The practice of self-flagellation, also known as Tatbir or Zanjeer Zani, accompanies this significant ceremony. This article delves into the historical background and significance of Ashura and explores the custom of self-flagellation.

The Historical Background of Ashura

Ashura refers to the tenth day of Muharram, marking the Battle of Karbala, which took place in 680 CE. During this event, Imam Hussain and a small group of his loyal supporters faced an army sent by Umayyad caliph Yazid I. Despite being outnumbered and aware they were destined to lose, Imam Hussain’s group chose to make a stand for righteousness against corruption and tyranny.

Yazid I sought allegiance from Imam Hussain to solidify his caliphate. However, Imam Hussain’s refusal on religious and ethical grounds led to this historic battle. The brutal massacre ended with Hussain’s death at the hands of Yazid’s forces and numerous companions.

Ashura: A Day of Mourning

Shia Muslims observe Ashura as a day of mourning for Imam Hussain’s martyrdom. Processions are held worldwide, accompanied by singing elegies about Hussain’s sacrifices and reciting various supplications. Shia communities gather in mosques or community centers to share meals after these processions, creating strong communal bonds and solidarity.

Self-Flagellation: A Controversial Custom

Self-flagellation is a centuries-old practice linked to commemorating Ashura. Some mourners whip their backs with chains or other metal implements, causing bleeding and intense pain. It symbolizes their willingness to share in the suffering experienced by Imam Hussain.

However, this practice is divisive, as several Islamic scholars and leaders have voiced concerns about the physical harm participants risk. Furthermore, the graphic nature of self-flagellation has led to misunderstandings and misrepresentations of Shia Islam by external observers.

Many scholars advocate for alternative expressions of grief. Blood donation drives called “Safeerah” have become increasingly popular as they simultaneously allow individuals to commemorate Imam Hussain’s sacrifice while engaging in an altruistic act for the wider community.


Ashura serves as a powerful reminder of the battle fought by Imam Hussain against tyranny and injustice. The accompanying custom of self-flagellation highlights the deep emotional connection of Shia Muslims to their history, translated into a willingness to endure physical pain. While this ritual remains controversial within Islam’s fold and beyond, it demonstrates the profound influence of Ashura on its observers’ hearts and minds.

How Principals Can Attract and Retain Teachers of Color


Diverse educators play an essential role in shaping inclusive and culturally responsive classrooms. As principals, it is crucial to ensure that schools attract and retain teachers of color, creating a vibrant and diverse workforce. This article highlights effective strategies principals can implement to support the attraction and retention of teachers of color.

1. Cultivate an Inclusive School Culture

Creating an inclusive school culture starts with the principal’s mindset. Acknowledge the importance of diversity in teaching staff, recognizing the unique perspectives and experiences that teachers of color bring to the table. Develop a shared vision and mission statement for your school that champions diversity and celebrates multiculturalism. Encourage staff to participate in ongoing professional development opportunities focused on implicit bias, cultural competency, and equitable teaching practices.

2. Actively Network and Recruit

Principals must be proactive in networking to garner interest from diverse professionals seeking opportunities in education. Attend career fairs, conferences, and other events where minority candidates have a significant presence. Reach out to historically Black colleges, Hispanic-serving institutions, and organizations dedicated to recruiting teachers of color. Invite guest speakers from these institutions to interact with your school community.

3. Provide Comprehensive Mentorship Programs

Mentoring is critical for the success of new teachers, particularly those from underrepresented backgrounds. Create structured mentorship programs that pair new teachers or student teachers with experienced educators who can provide guidance and support throughout their careers. Ensure that mentors are trained in culturally responsive practices to offer relevant feedback tailored to the unique needs of new teachers of color.

4. Establish Affinity Groups within the School

Teachers of color can benefit from affinity groups within the school where they can collaborate, network, share resources, discuss challenges unique to their experiences, and celebrate successes together. Offering spaces for relationship-building among colleagues fosters a positive work environment where everyone feels welcome.

5. Offer Competitive Salaries, Benefits, and Growth Opportunities

To retain talented teachers of color, schools must remain competitive in terms of salaries, benefits, and opportunities for professional growth. Principals should advocate for a fair compensation structure informed by regional cost-of-living, job market expectations, and local budgetary constraints. Additionally, encourage and support professional development for teachers of color through seminars, workshops, or funding to attend courses or conferences in their field.

6. Acknowledge Their Contributions to the School Community

Appreciating teachers’ efforts goes a long way in retaining them. Recognize teachers of color’s contributions to the school community by celebrating their achievements both publicly and privately. Provide platforms for them to share their stories and experiences with colleagues and students alike.

7. Gather Feedback Regularly

One overlooked aspect is collecting regular feedback about their experience at your school. Routinely gather input from faculty members to identify areas of necessary improvement. Ensure that teacher surveys are anonymous to encourage candid responses from all teachers.


Creating a diverse teaching workforce drives innovation in education by offering students exposure to various perspectives and backgrounds. By cultivating an inclusive culture at school, effectively networking and recruiting, providing comprehensive support through mentorship programs, and acknowledging the contributions of teachers of color in the school community, principals can retain a diverse team that enhances the educational environment for all students.

How to Speak Up and Take Action When Your School Isn’t Anti-Racist


Racism is an ongoing issue in today’s society. Even though many schools have policies in place to enforce inclusivity and promote tolerance, not all schools adhere to these standards. If you find that your school isn’t being anti-racist, it’s vital to take action and speak up. Here are some effective ways to create a more inclusive environment.

1. Educate Yourself and Others:

It’s essential to educate yourself about systemic racism and the different ways it manifests in educational institutions. Read books, watch documentaries, attend workshops, or join online forums about anti-racism. Share your newly acquired knowledge with your peers, teachers, and school staff so that they become aware of the importance of being anti-racist.

2. Start a Dialogue:

Initiate conversations with your classmates, teachers, and administrators about the experiences of marginalized students in your school. Ask them what steps are being taken to address racism and how these efforts can be improved. Share real-life experiences or anonymous anecdotes from students who have experienced racism in your school.

3. Gather Support:

Find like-minded students who are also committed to promoting anti-racism. Form a group or club dedicated to raising awareness and developing strategies for creating a more inclusive environment. This group can work together on events, meetings, or proposals that will help communicate the concerns of marginalized students effectively.

4. Create an Action Plan:

Once you’ve gained support from other students, develop an action plan outlining the issues you want to address and specific goals you’d like to achieve within a given timeframe. This plan should also include practical steps on how to involve faculty members and the wider school community in your efforts.

5. Collaborate with Teachers and Administrators:

Arrange meetings with relevant faculty members or administrators to discuss your action plan and seek their advice on how to implement it effectively. Faculty members can play a critical role in promoting anti-racism within the school, so it’s vital to have their support.

6. Hold School-Wide Events and Workshops:

Organize events such as workshops, seminars, movie screenings, or guest lectures that address race-related issues and raise awareness about the importance of promoting anti-racism in the educational setting. Encourage teachers and staff members to participate to ensure that the school community is aligned with your efforts.

7. Establish Safe Spaces:

Create designated safe spaces in your school where students of all backgrounds can openly discuss their experiences and ideas related to racism. These spaces will help promote open dialogue among students and provide opportunities for different perspectives to be heard.

8. Evaluate Progress and Adjust Accordingly:

Continuously assess your efforts and progress towards implementing an effective anti-racism action plan. Recognize achievements but also identify any shortcomings that need to be addressed. Be ready to adjust strategies as needed and maintain ongoing conversations with faculty members and the school community about updates or changes required.


Taking action against racism in your school requires dedication, perseverance, and consistent effort from you and your peers. By raising awareness, holding constructive conversations, and developing concrete plans for change, you can make a difference in creating a more inclusive school environment for everyone.

10 Things Every Teacher Should Know About Classroom Microaggressions

1. Understanding microaggressions: Microaggressions are subtle, often unintentional, acts that convey negative or prejudiced attitudes toward individuals who belong to marginalized social groups. These can be verbal, behavioral, or environmental offenses.

2. Impacts on students: Experiencing microaggressions in the classroom can lead to feelings of alienation and academic disengagement among marginalized students, impacting their mental health and academic achievement.

3. Cultural competence: Teachers should develop cultural competence to better understand and appreciate the diverse backgrounds of their students. This will help teachers recognize potential biases and prevent acts of microaggression.

4. Listen and empathize: If a student reports feeling targeted by microaggressions, listen to their experiences without being defensive, validate their feelings, and address the issue with sensitivity.

5. Curriculum representation: Ensuring that the curriculum reflects diverse perspectives promotes an inclusive learning environment that discourages microaggressive behavior.

6. Inclusive language: Be conscious of using language that respects all individuals’ identities and avoids reinforcing stereotypes or marginalization inadvertently.

7. Avoid colorblindness: Recognizing and celebrating racial and ethnic diversity is an essential aspect of addressing microaggressions in the classroom. Being “colorblind” can contribute to a toxic learning environment by ignoring inequities that exist in society.

8. Evaluating teaching materials: Regularly review educational materials for biased content or assumptions that could perpetuate stereotypes and lead to microaggressions.

9. Professional development: Seek out workshops, courses, or conferences focused on equity in education to deepen your understanding of microaggressions and equip you with tools to combat them in your classroom.

10. Foster a supportive community: Encourage open conversations among students about differences in culture, race, gender, etc., as these dialogues allow for increased understanding and help mitigate microaggressions.

How to Talk About “Take a Knee” With Students


The “Take a Knee” movement has been a significant topic in recent years, bringing debates on race, social issues, and freedom of expression into the public eye. As educators, it’s essential to discuss these vital topics with our students to help them understand the broader socio-political context and learn from a teachable moment. This article will focus on how to approach the “Take a Knee” conversation with students in a constructive manner.

1. Gauge Your Students’ Prior Knowledge:

Before diving into the discussion, it’s crucial to assess what your students already know about the “Take a Knee” movement. Start by asking questions about their prior knowledge of the subject and why it matters. You can also create a small survey or worksheet for them to fill out anonymously.

2. Provide Background Information:

Begin the conversation by providing some background information on the origins of the “Take a Knee” protest. Explain that this movement started in 2016 when American football player Colin Kaepernick chose to kneel during the national anthem as a silent protest against racial injustice and police brutality against African Americans.

3. Maintain Open Dialogue:

Encourage an open dialogue while discussing this topic, emphasizing that students express their thoughts respectfully and engage in active listening when others speak. Promote an environment they feel safe sharing their viewpoint without fear or judgment.

4. Address Different Perspectives:

Acknowledge the various perspectives people have on the “Take a Knee” movement, including those who support it as an act of peaceful protest and others who view it as disrespectful toward national symbols and values.

5. Highlight Core Themes:

Tie the issue of “Take a Knee” to broader themes like freedom of speech, racial justice, and civil rights history in America. Ensuring that students understand how this protest connects to broader historical context may lead them to appreciate its significance more.

6. Utilize Powerful Visuals and Media:

Incorporate visual materials, such as videos and news articles, to supplement the conversation. Focus on different narratives and how people from all sides of the issue have been affected by it.

7. Encourage Civic Engagement:

Discuss how students can get involved in efforts promoting social justice or fighting against racial inequality. By providing examples of ways they can take action, you help them feel empowered to participate in the process and make a difference.


As educators, we have the responsibility to engage our students in important social and political discussions like the “Take a Knee” movement. By fostering a safe environment for open dialogue and encouraging critical thinking, we help students develop empathy and understanding across cultural divides. Ultimately, these conversations help create well-rounded citizens who can engage constructively with important issues facing society today.