Lesson Plan

Slurs, Offensive Jokes and How to Respond

Related Content

GRADE LEVEL: Middle School, High School

COMMON CORE STANDARDS: Reading, Speaking and Listening, Language

Florida State Senator Uses Racial Slurs

On April 21, 2017, a Florida state senator resigned his office because of a controversy that involved him using slurs in the presence of two other lawmakers, specifically using racial slurs for Black people, derogatory language about women and engaging in other vulgar language. In his resignation letter, Senator Frank Artiles wrote: “My actions and my presence in government is now a distraction to my colleagues, the legislative process, and the citizens of our great State. I am responsible and I am accountable and effective immediately, I am resigning from the Florida State Senate.” This is just one example that got media attention; however, it seems that slurs, epithets and offensive jokes are part of our everyday lives and many people are unsure what to say or do when confronted with this offensive language.

About the Lesson Plan

This lesson provides an opportunity for students to learn more about the situation with Senator Artiles, explore their thoughts and feelings about different slurs and offensive jokes that they hear online and in school and explore possible responses to slurs when they hear them.

Learning Objectives:

  • Students will reflect on slurs and offensive jokes and language and their impact.
  • Students will explore their opinions, thoughts and feelings about slurs and offensive language in their own lives.
  • Students will consider words and phrases to use when responding to slurs and offensive language.