When I first started teaching I was not excited to teach US Government, but it has become my favorite class to teach. Students should know and understand how our government works. It plays a huge role in our lives and impacts our lives every day. There are always real world examples to talk about in class to illustrate our lessons. Which is always great!
One aspect we discuss about Citizenship is persecution. Sadly sometimes a government will persecute their citizens. Which goes against everything a government stands for! A government should take care of their citizens not persecute them. Unfortunately this country has persecuted their citizens through out our history. I wish we hadn't, and it is always hard to hear about. I always end it with it is our responsibility as citizens to make sure our government does not persecute.
If they can persecute one group they can persecute another. That is why we should want every American to be protected. If they are protected so are we. So we talked about groups that have been persecuted by our government.
One group we discussed was Japanese Americans during World War 2. After Pearl Harbor America became very suspicious and paranoid about Japanese Americans. The fear was they were spying for the Japanese Government. They were not because they were Americans! So the government decided to round up Japanese Americans and make them live in interment camps for the duration of the war. They took them from their homes and businesses, and when the war was over the government gave everyone $20 to start their lives over and said sorry. FDR later said this was the most embarrassing action as president.
A student last week told me about a song on this subject. This rapper's family went through this ordeal, and he wrote a song about it. It is beautiful and brilliant. I think I will play it every year!