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This Teacher Shared An Emotional Discussion She Had With Her Class About Terence Crutcher

"I share this story because we are creating an identity crisis in all of our black and brown students."

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Teachers at KIPP Tulsa College Preparatory decided to address the news surrounding Terence Crutcher, an unarmed black man who was shot and killed by police earlier this week in their community, with their students. Crutcher’s child currently attends the school.

In a lengthy Facebook post that's gone viral, one of the teachers, Rebecca Lee, explained that she and other teachers felt they "needed to press pause and create a space for kids to share their thoughts and feelings."

Facebook: rebeccaelee

The post has since been shared over 150,000 times.

In it, Lee wrote that the idea was to facilitate open discussions about the incident among students in her fifth, sixth, and seventh/eighth grade classes.

"If you can put yourself in the shoes of a child of color in Tulsa right now, you will have a clearer understanding of the crisis we're facing and why we say 'Black Lives Matter'," she wrote.

She asked students to read articles about Crutcher's fatal shooting and highlight words and statements that resonated with them.

She wrote that students started to think, and ask questions, about Crutcher's daughter, and what will happen to her:

What will she do at father daughter dances? Who will walk her down the aisle? Why did no one help him after he was shot? Hasn't this happened before? Can we write her cards? Can we protest?"

Lee told Tulsa World TV that in her fifth grade class, students started to cry. The moment has been "ingrained in her mind."

Tulsa World TV / Via tulsaworld.com

"Fifth graders who normally didn't interact were comforting each other and passing each other tissues," she said, sitting with principal Andrew McRae.

This burst of emotion caused teachers to cry. "They were comforting us as adults. We were crying, and they were handing us tissues," she added.

In her Facebook post, she wrote that other classes were also moved by the exercise. One student shared that she ahd her family "moved to Tulsa from New Orleans because her father wanted to 'escape the violence'" and began choking up.

Lee concluded her Facebook post by explaining why she chose to share the school exercise with the world. "My privilege requires that I speak," she said.

Tulsa World TV / Via tulsaworld.com

"I share this story, because Mr. Crutcher's death does not just affect the students at my school. I share this story, because we are creating an identity crisis in all of our black and brown students," she wrote.

"I ask that you read. I ask that you use whatever privilege or platform you have to speak," she added.

Tanya Chen is a social news reporter for BuzzFeed and is based in New York.

Contact Tanya Chen at tanya.chen@buzzfeed.com.

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