University of Wisconsin-Madison

At Maryland high schools, teaching empathy in a time of controversy

At Maryland high schools, teaching empathy in a time of controversy

As anger and intolerance dominated the national public discourse over the past year, Arundel High School principal Gina Davenport thought about how her students might respond.

Davenport wanted to help the young people communicate in ways that rose above what they were witnessing daily on the news and on social media about the deadly rally of white supremacists in Charlottesville, Va., in August and debates about removing monuments to the Confederacy from public squares.

By the time the students returned to school last month, she’d come up with an answer: A required course focused on building community and fostering citizenship.

The goal of the one-semester course...

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