A report by the Anti-Defamation League says that white-supremacy propaganda in the United States increased 182 percent in 2018 from the year before and that efforts to recruit young people are taking place on and off school campuses.
Rising concerns about the spread of white-supremacist ideology were underscored Friday with the shooting deaths of at least 49 people at two mosques in New Zealand. A man alleged to be involved in at least one of the attacks had published an online document that made clear his white-supremacist views, and the number 14 was seen on his rifle, possibly a reference to a 14-word white-supremacist slogan attributed in part to Adolf Hitler’s “Mein Kampf.”
To help fight the spread of white-nationalist ideology to young people, educators have created what they say is the first tool kit for schools to recognize signs that someone is being recruited by white supremacists, and how to safely and effectively fight it.
“Confronting White Nationalism in Schools: A Tookit” was written by two educators in partnership with the Western States Center, a liberal nonprofit organization working toward social, economic, racial and environmental justice.
Nora Flanagan, a veteran Chicago high school English teacher who is one of the authors, said she has been working in schools for 21 years and has seen a number of incidents occur.
“And I’ve watched every school struggle with how to respond, how not to over-respond, and how not to under-respond,” she said. “There’s been no resource. Schools are just left to wing it, and a lot of missteps happen.”
The tool kit — which was also written by Lindsay Schubiner, a program director at the center, and Jessica Acee, an educator and community organizer in Portland, Ore. — offers common scenarios that educators, administrators and others can recognize and offers recommendations on addressing them. It is free and can be obtained on the Western States Center website, here.