Welcome back to this week’s segment of After School Tea Time! Get your tea cups ready because we have more to spill this week! Keep your questions coming because you could be helping someone who has similar questions!
Question from New Haven County – Recently in our program we had a situation where a child called another child a very inappropriate and derogatory term. The child who was offended no longer feels comfortable being near the child who offended them. There has been tension in our program ever since this occurred. This is the first time something like this has happened in our program. What are some next steps that my staff and I should take?
Hello New Haven, thank you for sharing this situation. I would first start by having a one-on-one conversation with the student who used the offensive term and remind them that using derogatory language is not allowed in the program. You can refer to any classroom norms that you established at the start of the program. Depending on the severity of the term, I would also have a conversation with the child’s parent/legal guardian. Explain the situation and tell them what term was used. It is also important to have a conversation with the child who was affected by this term and reassure them that their feelings are valid. Offer your support and make sure that they do not feel alone during this time. You should also offer your support to the child who used the term and tell them that you want to help them do better moving forward. This would be a great opportunity to also have a group discussion with your children in the program about derogatory language. You should emphasize the damage that using those words can cause to another person. Here is an article full of resources that you can use to teach your children about being kind and practicing compassion. Here is a guide you can use with your whole group to help teach them how to correct their mistakes and make sure that they do not continue that inappropriate behavior again. We hope that this will help your program!
We’ll see you next week for another segment of After School Tea Time! Don’t forget to submit your anonymous questions here.