I am showing the classic documentary "Eye of the Storm" in class tonight. I remember seeing this in college, but now that I have children of my own it is even more compelling to watch the class dynamics. If you haven't see this before, you should watch it, and consider showing it to your older kids. It is a great illustration of the ways children experiment with power. It is a reminder that prejudice affects not only the group on the bottom, but fuels awful behavior by the people in power.
Obviously this documentary was made in the midst of the civil rights movement, but I think these tendencies apply to situations beyond race. I am constantly appalled at the “mean girl” behavior my daughter describes at her preschool (and that I’m sure she partakes in, too). I think that bullying and taunting has been a big issue in recent events in the news as well. This is why it’s important, as parents, to teach our kids to be tolerant, and to help them understand that, as good as it may feel, gaining a sense of superiority at the expense of another is just not right.
It’s a good reminder for me as an adult, too.