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Teachers to Discuss How to Engage Students About Michael Brown, Ferguson

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Demonstrators protest the killing of teenager Michael Brown outside Greater St. Marks Family Church while Browns family along with civil rights leader Rev. Al Sharpton and a capacity crowd of guests met inside to discuss the killing on August 12, 2014 in St Louis, Missouri. Brown was shot and killed by a police officer on Saturday in the nearby suburb of Ferguson. Ferguson has experienced two days of violent protests since the killing but, tonight the town remained mostly peaceful. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Demonstrators protest the killing of teenager Michael Brown outside Greater St. Marks Family Church while Browns family along with civil rights leader Rev. Al Sharpton and a capacity crowd of guests met inside to discuss the killing on August 12, 2014 in St Louis, Missouri. Brown was shot and killed by a police officer on Saturday in the nearby suburb of Ferguson. Ferguson has experienced two days of violent protests since the killing but, tonight the town remained mostly peaceful. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - A local professor says educators don’t have to avoid talking about recent events in Ferguson in the classroom.

Area teachers will meet tonight at Saint Louis University to discuss the best ways to engage students.

Instead of disputing facts that are still unknown, SLU Social Studies professor Alexander Cuenca suggests teachers might try looking at historical and social issues.

“It starts with our own prejudices, our own biases, where our own blind spots are regarding injustices in the community that are in our own backyards, and then to engage conversations with students in a similar fashion.”

Cuenca tells KMOX it’s important to engage the broader issues that led to the death of Michael Brown and protests in Ferguson, to avoid continuing the status quo.

“Those historical issues, those economic issues, those issues of injustice, the patterns of housing and zoning in our communitythat’s the way that we engage this,” he says.

Edwardsville schools had instructed teachers not to discuss Michael Brown or Ferguson with their students after some parents complained that teachers were expressing their personal opinions.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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