Instead, I chose to show the clip "Racial tension front and centre at Colten Boushie Trial". I chose this clip because it predated the outcome of the trial and because it gave voice to both sides: the reporter spoke with Boushie's uncle and farmers from the area. I gave the students the following "look-fors": Colten's uncle's thoughts; fallout from the possible verdicts; Facebook comments; farmers' perspectives; role of communication.
After the video, I shared that Stanley was found not guilty of murder in the death of Boushie, and that the Stanley's defence did not focus on Stanley defending his property, but rather "hang fire". I also included that Boushie had been shot in the head. The discussion went smoothly until we got to the Facebook comments, which are racist. We unpacked what these comments meant, and I mentioned that there were many more comments of a similar vein on various websites. Here comes my second error; students asked if there were any racist comments against white people and I responded with something along the lines of "racism against white people isn't real". (This is an idea that deserves more unpacking and nuanced discussion, and I did it a disservice in my offhand comment.)
Here comes my third error. A student asked if I had any proof of the multitude of racist comments being posted. Obviously there are, but I just used the first article that I found and all of the racist comments were from the same person, so my point fell apart. Then class was over. (I have since compiled a sampling of the racist comments, but I don't know if it is something to bring back up in class tomorrow.)
Fortunately, I teach grade 11s the next period, so I had the insight from my errors to change the course of the class. We watched the videos with the same look-fors, but in the discussion, I spent a lot of time listening to the students and asking them questions to have them clarify and, hopefully, challenge their thinking. From what I understand, from the students who spoke, they don't think race had anything to do with either the shooting or the verdict. Nor do they think that racism or bullying is a problem.
I'm not entirely sure how I'm going to address my classes tomorrow. We need to finish our writing for the AVoW video. After that, I'm not sure. Do I just move along with The Outside Circle? Do I need to apologize for my errors? Do I explain my errors? Do I have them read this post? Do I discuss bias, my bias, and that my goal is for them to be open to other ideas, even when the ideas are uncomfortable or outside their lived experience? Do I need to set a goal for myself to be open to various interpretations even if I believe they are racist? Should I try to address the trial once we're done The Outside Circle? Do I have them do some independent exploration of the trial?
Here is a link to my plan for tomorrow. (Still a work in progress.)