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Writers Against Racism: Should we teach PEACE?

I was on the phone with my sister, Julia, discussing that brutal slaying of the young Jersey City couple. It’s a story that really hits home because I lost my baby brother in the same act: shot in the back of the head by some depraved ex convict. All murders are senseless!
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And at the time of my brother’s murder, thoughts ran through my mind that the murderer’s home and his school FAILED to teach him peace and acceptance. Otherwise this would not have happened. Those were my thoughts; not that they were right or wrong. Then I rationalized this thought – that in schools we learn to read, we learn to write, and we learn to solve math problems, but when do we learn about PEACE and ACCEPTANCE?  It’s not scheduled into curriculum.
(photo1 Courtesy of the Muchioki family – Jersey City couple slain after returning from their engagement party – By Jeff Diamant/The Star-Ledger)

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Well my sister and I, who are both educators, feel that there are some answers in books. The bear (our affectionate name for my sister) shared with me this morning, a woman named Naomi Drew, whose life mission is working toward peace at every level. (photo2 David Jolkovski/The Jersey Journal (comes via By Michaelangelo Conte/The Jersey Journal)
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(My brother Abby, holding my niece. My brother, Anthony, looks on.)
"Drew is recognized around the world as an expert on conflict resolution and peacemaking for schools, workplaces, and families." (comes via Learning Peace website

Maybe this is a start. Although it’s too late for Mike, Nia, and my brother, Abby.

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(Photo 3 Naomi Drew


  1. Julia Fraoley says:

    What a great start to something that we could incorporate in all schools across the country. Thank you for sharing that information.

  2. Edi says:

    With test driven scripted curriculum, it is so hard for educators to discuss things that really matter with students. Yet, there is such a need to discuss with them and listen to them! Using stories and books would be a great way to lead to those discussions.