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We need young people today to help adults remember how to participate in a civil discourse. If young people are to engage in democracy and society, young people need to learn how to respectfully disagree. Yet discussing contentious issues in the classroom can be challenging.\n\nBased on my experience as a middle school social studies educator, I’ve discovered that there are ways that students can deal effectively and respectfully with controversial topics – as well as what controversial topics to take up. I first came up with this list of seven ideas with educators in mind, though students should also know these strategies.