The Washington Times reports that members of hate groups like the Ku Klux Klan and Westboro Baptist Church are being integrated into the lesson plans — and invited to the actual classrooms — of teachers around the country.
No, these aren't white-pride types, and it's not backlash by those who think ethnic-studies programs could rip apart the fiber of the country. Rather, educators' aim is that "students can witness the extreme views such groups espouse and know how to avoid them."
We can think of a lot of ways in which this well-intended plan could go wrong. (How traumatizing would it be to be the only black kid in class on the day the guest speaker in a white robe shows up? And on the off chance that a vulnerable classmate latches onto the message, things could turn out even worse.) Still, if this approach to snuffing out bigotry works the way it's meant to, the educators implementing it might really be on to something.
One teacher told the Times that lessons like these also can help students reflect on the underlying prejudices in society, including — and this is the important part, if you ask us — those that they've already begun to internalize. "It's something that happens every day in schools across America," he said. "You don't need a Nazi to have hate in your school. If you're saying, 'That's so gay,' you have something in common with Westboro."
Read more at the Washington Times.