5. The power of words: Say NO to all -isms!

  • Collaborative writing - in turns the students from different countries write a paragraph on the -ism of their choice. When the text is finished, the students are encouraged to visually represent what is said - in a form of a video, podcast, poster, collage, drawing so that the message can be passed on to other students at schools and on social media.


    Say NO to all -isms! link to the Google Doc


    Here is our final speech abour RACISM, SEXISM and ABLEISM written by the three teams (French, Serbian and Spanish students):

    To begin with, we are happy to join you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nations

    We are going to SAY NO TO RACISM, but also NO TO SEXISM and NO TO ABLEISM.


    We are sad because the word RACISM still exists everywhere in the world. This three-syllable word shouldn’t exist in the dictionary any more.


    We are happy to talk about Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks. People who were leaders and activists. People who fought against racism and segregation. People who fought for racial equality and freedom. 

     We are happy to talk about Barack Obama. He was the first African-American president of the US. 

    We are happy to talk about Black lives matter. We are listening to what Black people have to say. We support their actions.


    We have a dream, that one day, unacceptable incidents such as George Floyd’s death won’t happen again. 

    We have a dream today ! We want to breathe ! SAY NO TO RACISM!


    We have a dream that one day right there in France, in Spain, in Serbia and in the US little black boys and little black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers without violence, without incidents, without blood, without problems, without deaths.


    We have a dream today ! We want to breathe ! SAY NO TO RACISM!


    Martin Luther King said : ‘’We have a dream that one day our children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character’’


    We have a dream today ! We want to breathe ! SAY NO TO RACISM!


    Next, let’s say NO to sexism!  Sexism is seen at work, at school, in a grocery store, even in your own house. Yes, it can affect anyone, but it is mostly affecting women and girls disproportionately. 

    Sexism is harmful, it lies AT THE ROOF OF GENDER INEQUALITY. Let’s talk statistics:

    -63% of women journalists have been confronted with verbal abuse.

    -80% of women stated that they have been confronted with the phenomenon of “mansplaining” and “manterrupting” at work.

    -In the UK, 66% of 16-18-year-old girls surveyed experienced or witnessed the use of sexist language at school.

    -59% of women in Amsterdam reported some form of street harassment.

    -In France, 50% of young women surveyed recently experienced injustice or humiliation because they are women.

    -In Serbia, research indicates that 76% of women in business are not taken as seriously as men.


    Some groups of women, for example young women, politicians, journalists or

    public figures are particular targets of sexism.

    -Sexism functions to maintain patriarchy, or male domination, through ideological and material practices of individuals, collectives, and institutions that oppress women and girls on the basis of sex or gender. Such oppression usually takes the forms of economic exploitation and social domination. 

    -The extreme form of sexist ideology is misogyny, the hatred of women. A society in which misogyny is prevalent has high rates of brutality against women—for example, in the forms of domestic violence, rape, and the commodification of women and their bodies. Where they are seen as property or as second-class citizens, women are often mistreated at the individual as well as the institutional level. 

                                    WOMEN EXPERIENCE THIS EVERYDAY!

    Christine Laperriere in 2018 shared her story of sexism and harassment at work.

    25-year old Christine got a job as a design engineer where she got sexually harassed by 15 years older manager, on a daily basis.


    I was so worried about how I would be perceived. I wanted to be tough enough to handle this environment.

     I kept thinking, I'm such a freaking stereotype.” - Christine Laperriere, 2018 ( management consultant and executive director of the Women of Influence Advancement Centre)


    Karlyn Percil is a woman of color who got her job at a major Canadian bank in St. Lucia in 1994 where she experienced sexist comments and inappropriate behaviour almost every day of her working there. She experienced comments from men like:   “Are you sure she can do the work?” or “Look at her, look at how she’s built.” There were a lot of comments around women’s bodies. 


    -”Especially as a woman of colour, you already have to be on guard every day because of race and gender, and then again because of harassment.  A lot of us are so afraid of being labelled.

     If I speak up, am I being the “angry Black girl”? - Karlyn Percil, 2018 ( founder and CEO of SisterTalk, a women’s leadership group)\


    Avery Francis, a young woman who also shared her story about sexual assault and violence she had experienced at her job. Avery got r@ped by her collegue the day of her promotion. The following monday, she got courage and shared her story with the CEO and got so much support! The individual who assaulted her was let go, but that did not change the fact she went through that and experienced such trauma.


    When I said no in that closet, he didn't stop. And I found myself in survival mode, trying to talk him down.” - Avery Francis, 2018 ( head of talent strategy, Bright + Early).

    And all of these women are left wondering: “ Is it because I’m ditzy or because of how I dress? Am I too provocative? Was I being too flirty? Did I invite it? Did I make him feel like he could do that? Was it because I initially didn’t say no when he touched my back and stroked my leg—is that why he thought it was okay?”


    The problem of sexism is not only the problem of women, but men too. We all must join forces and fight for freedom of all human beings on this planet. It is up to us just how far will this initiative go, but we must understand that the matter of freedoms is a matter of our development not only as a nation, but as an entire civilization too.

    We don’t need no motivation for this, it’s just that we want an equal society that will be strong enough to answer the problems of the coming times, but also leave the skirmishes of the past behind.  

    We want both sexes to fight side by side and unleash their (OUR) full potential in brand new ways.

    We want little boys and girls, tomorrow men and women (US), to bring future advancements to our respective societies.



    Do these little girls really deserve all the terrible things that can happen to any of them at any moment?

    Do these little boys deserve to be labeled as potential predators out of pure fear? 

    NO! No one should feel that way, and it is never their fault. Let’s stop this! We don’t want to be scared anymore! 



    Finally, we are talking about Ableism. 

    This ism is one of the least talked about isms in society. There isn’t much attention to people with disabilities and the discrimination they face.


    Ableism is the discrimination of and social prejudice against people with disabilities based on the belief that typical abilities are superior. Like racism and sexism, ableism classifies entire groups of people as ‘less than,’ and includes harmful stereotypes, misconceptions, and generalizations of people with disabilities”.


    There are different types of disabilities, some type of disabilities are; mental disability, physical disability, learning disability and socializing disability.

    In the current society, educational systems and strategies should be designed in order to respond to all students’ needs, and trying not to forget those who have the highest risk of social exclusion. 


    Often people are ableist without realizing it. In order to be able to begin reducing prejudice and discrimination against ableism, there must be an institutional intervention, starting with the educational system. School is a perfect example to begin to show children at a young age on how to treat people equally.


    Our school strives to include all students regardless of their learning abilities. We are a reference school against ableism as we contribute to the inclusion of students with disabilities. Students with disabilities participate in general activities of the school and integration in certain areas and / or subjects in a reference group with a curricular adaptation.


    People use ableist words and phrases everyday without realizing the harm they do. Stop using these words and phrases!


    It doesn’t matter what you look like on the outside, it’s what’s on the inside that counts!


    What can we as a society do to fight ableism? Here are some tips for combating ableism:

    1. Learning about what ableism is will help you change your own behavior.

    2. Hire people with disabilities.

    3. Don’t use ableist labels and expressions!

    4. Support Disability Organizations

    5. Interact with Disabled People

    6. Don’t Infantilize People with Disabilities


    Here are some disability quotes:

    I have had this desire my whole life to prove people wrong, to show them I could do things they didn’t think I could do.” David A. Paterson

    Know me for my abilities, not my disability.” Robert M. Hensel

    I choose not to place “DIS”, in my ability.” Robert M. Hensel

    I don’t have a dis-ability, I have a different-ability.” Robert M. Hensel

    My disability has opened my eyes to see my true abilities.” Robert M. Hensel.

    When everyone else says you can’t, determination says,”YES YOU CAN.” Robert M. Hensel

    I have a Disability yes that’s true, but all that really means is I may have to take a slightly different path than you.” Robert M. Hensel

    As a disabled man, let my life be a reflection of the endless amount of ability that exists in each and everyone of us.” Robert M. Hensel

    We, the ones who are challenged, need to be heard. To be seen not as a disability, but as a person who has and will continue to bloom. To be seen not only as a handicap, but as a well intact human being.” Robert M. Hensel

    Just because a man lacks the use of his eyes doesn’t mean he lacks vision.” Stevie Wonder

    Being disabled should not mean being disqualified from having access to every aspect of life.” Emma Thompson

    The disability is not the problem, the accessibility is the problem”. Prof. Mohamed Jemni







    The French part - recordings

    against RACISM

    Say NO to sexism!

    Serbian Team

    Say NO to ableism!

    Spanish Team

    Listening to our speech

    The French team is carefully listening to our speech. We were impressed and proud at the same time. ( 24/03/2021)

    The whole speech

    read by the French, Serbian and Spanish teams