How Diverse is Diverse?

Beth has just been hired to teach first grade River Bend School District, which has had an influx of minority students during the past few years. The minority students are almost the majority. Not everyone thinks that the rapid increase in the minority student population is beneficial to the school district or town. Some of Beth’s colleagues think that the school district is bending over too far backward to meet minority students’ needs. At Beth’s first meeting with Harry Fortune, her new mentor teacher, he remarked, “Respecting minorities and catering to them are two different things. I’m going to stress with my parents that this is America and American culture comes first, and that includes speaking English!”

For this lesson’s discussion, answer the following questions:

  • What should Beth do?
  • Should she agree with her mentor teacher, adopt a policy of English first, or should she seek out the director of multiculturalism for her school district and discuss Harry’s comments with her, or should she pursue another course of action?