We need to stress inclusion at Liberty

Fiona Hinkulow, Senior Writer

To facilitate social inclusion at Liberty high school, and promote a true “We-Are-One” atmosphere, students and faculty should revise how multiculturalism is taught and understood.
“Inclusive education is an approach looking into possibilities on how to transform education systems to respond to the diversity of learners,” UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) said.
Multicultural education is an indispensable tool for acceptance and tolerance, but can’t be effective unless Liberty students and teachers are profoundly exposed to all different aspects defining a culture.
Usually, when discussing foreign nations with Liberty students, the same overused topics are always discussed: food, holiday resorts, shopping, and all quintessential picture-taking places, but is that sufficient to understand other cultures?
Many people don’t realize, even in countries considered “poor,” exist counter-culture literary and musical movements, and a history studded with scientists, theologians, philosophers, artists, writers, and film directors that aren’t too dissimilar from our society. Learning more about those figures and understanding their work and influence is essential for creating a fresher form of learning multiculturalism; true inclusion won’t happen without expanded thinking, and elimination of stale stereotypes.
In recent years, tragic events like the Columbine and Virginia Tech shootings and, more recently, the Isla Vista killings, were attributed to the perpetrators’ feelings of exclusion. Alongside psychosomatic problems, these troubled individuals felt depressed and misunderstood. Creating an environment at Liberty high school emphasizing “it’s cool to be different,” would not only foster individual creativity and skills, but also reduce chances of senseless violence caused by feelings of isolation.
UNESCO also states on their website; “…the overall goal is to ensure that school is a place where all children participate and are treated equally.” The importance of educating not only students, but also faculty members is paramount.  According to the Center of Equity in Education supported by the University of Manchester, England, “Inclusive development should start with thorough analysis of existing practice and with sharing expertise amongst staff members.”
Through teaching students to appreciate multicultural differences, Liberty can make progress towards implementing our school motto: “We Are One.”