Thanksgiving was no picnic for the Indians, some teachers stress.
Teacher Bill Morgan walks into his third-grade class wearing a black Pilgrim hat made of construction paper and begins snatching up pencils, backpacks and glue sticks from his pupils. He tells them the items now belong to him because he “discovered” them. The reaction is exactly what Morgan expects: The kids get angry and want their things back.
Morgan is among elementary school teachers who have ditched the traditional Thanksgiving lesson, in which children dress up like Indians and Pilgrims and act out a romanticized version of their first meetings.
He has replaced it with a more realistic look at the complex relationship between Indians and white settlers.
Where does he teach? San Francisco.
At other schools, children aren’t allowed to dress up like Indians any more, or told they can wear a headband but not a feather.