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Engaging Kids with Taboo Topics

Liz Kleinrock's Talk on Taboos is Informative and Constructive

— February 27, 2019 — Keynote Trends
Liz Kleinrock delivers a talk on taboos that promotes the initiation of dialogue in school environments. The speaker is a teacher who facilitates curricular content for kids in kindergarten and up. She relates her experience and uses it as a tool to advocate for the engagement in stigmatic topics within the parameters of the school environment.

Kleinrock begins with the story of Abby who made a comment in class that had heavy racist connotations, which the child did not understand. Instead of brushing her off or yelling at her, the speaker engaged with her and explained to the class how racism came to be. The impromptu lesson was delivered in an accessible manner that promoted respect and kindness. Liz Kleinrock realizes that had she reacted in a different way, this could have immense social consequences for the class, including Abby. Defining the school as "the only place where students can feel free and comfortable to ask questions and make mistakes," the teacher advocates for the discussion of taboo topics.

Liz Kleinrock argues that the stigma around political, religious and sexual topics is inevitably tied to the discomfort of speaking about them in social situations, for some "people fear being PC-shamed or that their ignorance will show as soon as they open their mouths." The talk on taboos suggests building a common language to make these topics available to the public and ultimately contribute to the establishment of equality.

Equity is not a way of teaching kids what to think, its a way of supplying them with tools, strategies, and language that will teach them how to think.