According to Education Secretary John King, resistance to institutional racism and the rising tensions between police and people of color are some of the reasons why schools should teach empathy.
King believes that the way to accomplish this is to create diverse school communities, with curriculum that gives students the opportunity to understand the history of race and class in the USA.
Schools can be a place for the conversation about interactions between people of color and the police. “This is a multi-pronged problem,” King said, adding that “we’ve got lots of challenges as we try to work through these longstanding issues of race and class, but there is, I think, tremendous goodwill in the country and a readiness to take on these issues in thoughtful ways.”
King supports initiatives such as President Obama’s My Brothers Keeper Community Challenge, which have schools create plans for addressing the problems faced by students of color, such as high suspension rates, absenteeism, and low achievement.