MADISON, Wis. – After protesters in Ferguson, Missouri looted shops, burned police cars, and harassed reporters in the wake of a grand jury decision they disagreed with, the Madison Metropolitan School District in Madison, Wisconsin circulated a guide to teachers offering tips about how to talk about Ferguson with students.

Ferguson Boston 337x244The Ferguson tumult started earlier this year when a white police officer shot and killed an African American robbery suspect after the suspect attacked him in a suburb of St. Louis. A grand jury recently concluded there is no probable cause to believe the officer acted wrongly in using deadly force.

Calling the Ferguson riots “a teachable moment for our students,” the Madison teacher’s guide encourages educators to use the resources and articles linked in the document, “to help frame the issues in Ferguson in a historical perspective.”

One of the resources linked in the document is a blog post by a Michigan teacher from August that compares the Ferguson riots and looting to the Boston Tea Party. Another resource linked was an article from The Atlantic titled “Reparations for Ferguson” that compared police officers to predators.

A lesson plan prepared by the Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility receives high marks from the Madison school district, and links to news articles from the far left-wing publication The Nation.

The teacher’s guide also links to a further list of educator resources about Ferguson compiled by various contributors in a Google document. One of the suggested books for teachers listed in that document is The History of White People, written by an African American author. According to a Booklist review on, the book is:

“[A] brief look at how the ancients conceptualized the differences between European peoples, Painter focuses primarily on the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. There, the artistic idealization of beautiful white slaves from the Caucasus combined with German Romantic racial theories and lots of spurious science to construct an ideology of white superiority which, picked up by Ralph Waldo Emerson and other race-obsessed American intellectuals, quickly became an essential component of the nation’s uniquely racialized discourse about who could be considered an American.”

A copy of the Madison Metropolitan School District teacher’s guide, and the aggregate source linked in the guide are uploaded below.


Authored by Brian Sikma

Published with permission

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