In response to:

Minnesota Schools Close So Teachers Can Play with Dolls, Learn About Teaching Islam

goldn47 Wrote: Oct 22, 2012 1:51 PM
(this will come in two parts due to character limit) well, i can say that persona dolls can be used in many different types of classrooms, especially special ed. they can be beneficial to teaching about social cues, etc., so maybe having a more directed audience (i.e. special ed/counseling dept.) would be beneficial, not every teacher. and for the part that the writer gripes about taking time away from kids - we are legally bound to teach for a certain number of days. any days taken for things like this do not count on the educational calendar, so kids don't lose any learning time for this.
goldn47 Wrote: Oct 22, 2012 1:52 PM
(part two, cont'd) however, the sole focus of teaching acceptance of islam is absolutely ridiculous. to ignore the other religions and belief systems is biased. if we have to abide by separation of church and state, then we have to abide by separation of mosque and state, synagogue and state, temple and state, etc. it's disgusting that our constitution is constantly referred to only when it benefits someone's ulterior motive, and swept aside when it's not convenient for someone's personal agenda.

Each year, Minnesota government schools close for two days (just before the weekend, of course) so teachers’ union members can gather at a conference organized by their union.

It’s meant to “inspire teachers,” reported, and the conference includes a session titled, “Using Persona Dolls to Promote Social Emotional Intelligence and Acceptance of Diversity.”

The union describes it this way: “Used around the world, persona dolls are lifelike dolls with personalities and stories you create. The dolls become members of your classroom community and children learn by empathizing with the dolls and giving them heartfelt advice on the same...