Ethics discussion guide


Respect & tolerance in practice

Objective: Recognize diversity as a positive thing for how it enriches our lives, and illustrate the value of respecting people with different backgrounds, beliefs, and traits. Make the connection between respect, tolerance, acceptance, and cooperation.

Discussion: Discuss the movie The Blind Side, based on a true story about the Tuohy family who took in homeless, young Michael Oher and supported him until he was selected in the first round of the NFL draft by the Baltimore Ravens. Even if students do not watch the film, the rough storyline illustrates the value of tolerance and respect. What were the benefits to Michael of the Touhys’ acceptance of him into their family? (Benefits could include: He got a chance at an education, and at developing his sports prowess. He got to experience kindness and acceptance from the Tuohy family, something everyone deserves.) What were the benefits for the family? (Benefits could include: They learned about life from another perspective through having Michael live with them. They felt gratification over their act of kindness.)
Point out examples of positive behaviors that the family demonstrated. (Answers could include respect, acceptance, tolerance, politeness, kindness, inclusion.)

Activity: Exploring respect & tolerance in groups

Discussion: Ask students to volunteer sharing the group situations they wrote about, either in the chart or the writing activity. Discuss how disrespectful or intolerant behavior can lead to a breakdown in communication and cooperation. Ask students for examples of behaviors that occur when people are disrespectful or intolerant. (Answers could include rudeness, bullying, name-calling, exclusion.)  Then ask them for examples of behaviors that occur when people are respectful, accepting and tolerant. (Answers could include politeness, kindness, inclusion.)