Earlier this month, our Verona School District had to assure parents that an Middle School elective class was not political. I no longer have children that attend Verona Public School, but if I did, I would certainly want them to have an education that had political viewpoints and that touched upon uncomfortable matters.
That’s life. Middle School age children understand what’s happening to our world. The adults have collectively given them a world that will be more difficult.
Resources will be scarce. Climate change will make many areas uninhabitable. These students will have to have critical thinking skills to survive a harsher planet. This includes teaching and learning from unpleasant history.
Teaching about the genocide of Native Americans and the enslavement and abuse of African Americans is not political — it’s fact. The Salem Witch trials are fact. Having thousands of nuclear weapons ready to fire is fact. Lynchings are fact. Plastic pollution is fact.
If parents are worried about this course being a political tool, then don’t have them take this elective course.
I would strongly encourage my child to take it. The world needs healing. It’s going to take smart, motivated young people to do it. Learning about our not so nice past is the basis for which positive change will come about.
To keep doing things the same way over and over is why our nation and world face so many challenges. Being a good consumer won’t fix it. Empowering our young people and teaching them critical thinking skills is key. That’s not political.
That’s teaching them to become a good human being. Peace.