One of our preschool teachers recently taught her class of 7 about Rosa Parks. The children really enjoyed the story and asked questions and were engaged.
Very soon after that, they had a field trip planned. The short bus came to pick them up. The driver said, "Ok, get on, and go to the back of the bus."
The preschool class looked at him, looked at each other, chins trembled and then one cried. Then they all cried.
The bus driver was horrified and confused.
The teacher managed to comfort the children: "No, he's not discriminating against you and you can sit in the front of the bus and you won't go to jail...." and comfort the bus driver, "They just learned about Rosa Parks." and get the children on the bus. They did their field trip to the Kai Tai Lagoon.
We are in a town of less than 9000 and we do have a little bit of ethnic diversity, but not very much. Mostly caucasian. Yet the power of the story told by a preschool teacher and the amount of compassion that little children can have, brought the words "Go to the back of the bus." to life for these children.
The teacher also managed not to laugh when it was happening. Though I'm not sure whether we should laugh or cry or both.