How a Dallas high school class learns about the Russian invasion of Ukraine

One day in April at the Dallas ISD Judicial School, with bare feet Sanders Low the magnet, Manuel BenZvi’s government lesson began somewhat deceptively. BenZvi invited everyone to share a bit of their culture, because, as they were told earlier, the day was called “Culture Day”.

BenZvi broke the ice and shared some of his own. Yarmulkayu wore a beautifully decorated talisman and a Hebrew prayer gown. Benz is a Jew.

After completing BenZvi’s exchange, the student showed up and played one of the two occasions he traveled to Mexico.

When he sat down, the lesson officially began.

“Look at the person below,” BenZvi said as the predictions showed an actress on the big screen of the classroom that many students probably knew. Her name was also mentioned, so they searched for Mila Kunis online.

“I want you to find out where she was born and what it’s about,” BenZvi said.

They learned that Kunis is not only Ukrainian but also Jewish. The discovery filled part of the lesson that day as BenZvi played a video of Vladimir Putin. The students listened to Putin’s voice and an English translator and explained why Russia was invading Ukraine.

“The fact that we are fighting neo-Nazis,” Putin said on behalf of the translator, “shows the true nature of the war.”

BenZvi paused the video and asked his students, “Who is Vladimir Putin?” Several responded and one used finger quotes around the word “president”. BenZvi asked why.

Because, in response, the student said, there is no real competitor in the election. “Well,” said BenZvi, “that’s not entirely true. Whoever opposes him, what will happen to them?”

The students said “they will die or go to jail.”

Published reports over the past decade show that dozens of critics of Putin, including political activists. have died.

“So remember,” said BenZvi, of President Putin, “I always say that the name doesn’t mean anything. Even though he’s called President Putin, he’s not exactly President Putin, because to be president you have to be democratically elected.” right?

BenZvi then asked the students to look for Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky as well. “He’s a Jew, too,” said Benzi, and many Ukrainians, too. But he explained that anti-Semitism also exists in Ukraine, and said that was why the Kunis family left when Mila was a child.

Student Outlook

For 16-year-old student Oscar Mendez, Zelensky tested Putin’s words for being Jewish.

“I feel like it’s pretty amazing,” Mendez said. “Because Ukraine has a Jewish president, but the Nazis were anti-Semitic.”

With this point, BenZvi’s class criticized Putin’s other point. That Ukrainians are Russians is the same people and Putin wants to reunite them.

BenZvi said Putin’s vision ignores Ukraine’s centuries-old history, culture and identity. Oscar Mendez discussed Putin’s remarks with Mizari Ortiz, a neighbor of the chair.

“He (Putin) takes the culture and customs of other peoples within Russia and the territories of the Soviet Union and unites them all into one nation,” Oscar said.

Mizari replied, “But as long as to bomb Ukraine to reach this point? This is just contrary to what he said. That means you wouldn’t do it if you were all one person. “

“Right,” admitted Oscar.

BenZvi wants this class to understand that history repeats itself.

“We see the possibility of a Cold War. I have a lot of students who ask me about nuclear war and are afraid of it. It sounds like, you know, what I’ve heard from my grandparents in the past.” He said.

There are even bigger lessons that BenZvi hopes will take these second courses, teens and seniors.

“It’s that we’re all connected. And the third number, with all the propaganda, is how people can easily believe things that aren’t necessarily right.

Students in this government class, including Todd Stansbury, offered some tips to avoid being scammed by online messages.

Stansberry prefers to watch a lot social media messages about the same events. She is already wary of selfishness. However, he has learned to look for commonalities between many different posts. When he finds them, he can filter out prejudices. “It’s the best way to believe what I’m being told,” he said.

In this lesson on one of the biggest news events in the world, no student was asked why they should care, given that the war is so far away.

Caitlin Walt, 17, said she felt the direct impact of this distant conflict.

“I mean, look at the price of our gas.” said Catelain. “I spent $ 70 the next day on gas. It is the result of war. ”

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