Seminole County teachers help students find comfort discussing controversial subjects

Video: Seminole County teachers help students find comfort discussing controversial subjects

SANFORD, Fla. — Teachers around Central Florida are helping students become more comfortable talking about subjects that some may find uncomfortable.

Adam Carpenter has been teaching government classes for the past 12 years. Tuesday’s topic for his junior and senior students at Seminole High School is about the recent election results.

Watch: Have a senior in Seminole County? Here’s what you need to know about graduation

Content Continues Below

Carpenter said in more recent years, politics and the Black Lives Matter movement have made him change how he approaches teaching.

“The kids know a lot more about the topics than they did 5 to 10 years ago because of social media,” Carpenter said.

He said students come to class with their own opinions about certain issues.

Subjects such as race and politics are a delicate balancing act, especially with such a diverse campus.

“It’s important that you try to remain neutral, but also provide them the different opinions and facts that are out there,” Carpenter said. “That’s the really hard part, ‘cause some people are really passionate about things.”

Channel 9 has seen how some classroom discussions can go wrong.

In October, a teacher at Poinciana High School was removed from the classroom for comments she made in class.

Educators are told to help students see both sides of the issues, to help them to understand how to make a claim and look at and weigh evidence.

The Seminole County School District believes controversial issues are a valuable teaching opportunity, which is why the Seminole County Public School Board created the Equity Advisory Committee.

The committee is in its infancy, but Dr. Jason Wysong, who heads the committee, said it will be comprised of teachers, students and community leaders.

The committee meets once a month and is currently looking at student performance data.

See the full report in the video above.