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California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Created: March 25, 2001
Latest update: March 27, 2001

Understanding the Need for Transformed Discourse

"We need to go beyond teaching tolerance."

On Sunday, March 25, 2001, Teresa Mason wrote:

Hi Jeanne

I have been so saddened by the increased violence in our public schools. Being a parent of 2 young daughters increases the anxiety I feel in sending them off to school everyday. I am trying to figure out what we, as a society, can do to help solve this crisis.

I reread an email Pat Acone wrote you on March 6 and I share in her sentiments. In the class you taught, Love 1A, we read a book by Leo Buscaglia titled Living, Loving & Learning. I agree with Buscaglia when he describes members of our society as feeling separate and isolated. If people could learn the importance of giving and receiving love, we wouldn't have the kind of violence that is plaguing our society today. I wish classes similar to Love 1A could be taught in all schools, beginning in elementary school. The kids who commit violent acts against others could learn more positive ways to express their anger when they are teased and humiliated. The kids who unmercifully taunt and bully others could learn the value of loving and respecting others. They need to understand the harmful effects caused by humiliating others. People need to come together and realize that they have more similarities than differences. We need to go beyond teaching tolerance. We need to teach the importance of loving and accepting one another.

I appreciate your insight about the importance of people learning to listen to each other. The value in what you teach transcends beyond the Domingeuz Hills campus. If enough people understood your motivation and where you're coming from, and embraced your teachings, not only would minds be strengthened but hearts would be healed. With these possibilities, the world will be a better place for all to live in.

Teresa Mason

On Sunday, March 25, 2001, jeanne responded:

Teresa you have done a very good job of putting in your own words the need to transform discourse. I'm going to put up a teaching essay on this, hopefully later today.

Thank you
love and peace, jeanne

Did you hear about the teacher
who taped the little girl's mouth closed?

On Monday, March 26, 2001, Teidra Rankin wrote:


jeanne. This is Teidra again. I was wondering if you heard about the substitute teacher at the local school here in California. I forgot the name of the school. But, what happened was just awful. The teacher kept telling one of his students to be quiet, which happened to be a young hispanic girl. No older than eight years old. Well, she kept being disruptive to the class by talking out. So the teacher taped her lips with masking tape until class was dismissed. The teacher was immediately terminated from the school. I just wanted to know if you had heard about this incident because you haven't mentioned it in class.

On Tuesday, March 27, 2001, jeanne responded.

Yes, Teidra, I did know about it. Last week Tammy Pace told me about it. She was reminded of stories I have told about remembering nothing from the 1st grade but standing in the corner for, you guessed it, talking. Lucky I didn't have that teacher, hmm?

Glad you broadened this thread to include other forms of structural violence in our schools besides the shootings. I can't manage to keep up with all the news, so it isn't always on the site. But I'm learning that you are all keeping up on the topics that interest you on your own, and your comments trigger inclusion on the site. Just another example of how Dear Habermas really is your journal.

love and peace, jeanne