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10 ways to talk with kids about the Patrick Cannon issue
Stick to the basics. What, where, when, why, how. Don’t focus on the specifics of the legal
allegations, talk about politics, or make personal attacks.
Explain why it is important. It is a historic event for the city, and a good learning opportunity
Explore the bigger issues. How will this impact our city? Why do people make good, or bad,
choices? What does ethics mean? Can you think of an example of an ethical decision you have
Talk about the role of local government. What does a mayor do? Who are the other people
who make decisions for the city? Why is it important that Charlotte has a council‐manager form
Follow the news coverage. Why is this a big story? How is it being covered? What’s the
difference between a news report and an editorial? If you were writing about this story, what
would your headline say?
Practice reading information. Read a news article, the official statement from the City of
Charlotte, or the state law that outlines how cities and towns are governed.
Consider the vocabulary. What does alleged mean? What does it mean in the court of law?
Think about leadership. How are leaders reacting to this issue? Are they sharing their personal
views or are they talking about how they will help Charlotte to move forward from it? If you
were a city leader, what would you say to the citizens of Charlotte?
Talk about public service. Do you know anyone who works for the city, county, CMS, or
another level of government? How are they using their talents for public good?
Together, build civic literacy. Learn how state and local governments work together. Identify
the levels of law enforcement involved. Follow the case through the legal system. Discuss the
roles and responsibilities of citizens vs. public officials.
Learn more Visit http://generationnation.org/learn for teaching tips and updated resource
page for official documents, news coverage, and other information related to this issue.