Friday, October 3, 2008

Just say it.

Remember in my first post, when I told you that I’ve decided it’s time to say some things? I wasn’t referring to jumping on a stump & shouting through a bullhorn. Though if that’s your style, be my guest. For me, those opportunities come more quietly. I’ve decided it’s time to pay closer attention, & act when I feel that tightening in my gut. Here’s an example of what I mean:

Dear School Board:

I am a concerned parent of three in your school system. Recently, I learned from another parent (whose child attends Rosy Glow Elem. School) that many teachers exhibit openly partisan support of only one Presidential candidate. This support is present in the form of t-shirts, campaign buttons & stickers worn throughout the instructional day, as well as bulletin board displays favoring one political persuasion, with minimal representation of the other. Children have been taken on field trips to campaign headquarters of one party at the exclusion of the other. And, as a class assignment, they were required to view the coverage of one party’s convention (for purposes of class discussion), but not invited/required to view the other party’s convention. One would hope that in covering issues relative to an historic Presidential election, that our school system would encourage children to develop thoughtful analysis by exposing them to balanced instructional material.

Partisan passions lend a certain zeal the political process, especially during an election season. However, partisan passion should be unequivocally mute in the instruction of public elementary school students. Anything less, and public instruction becomes pure indoctrination, as in the examples above. I hope you'll agree that indoctrination does nothing to foster clear, independent thinking and logical reasoning in the growing minds of elementary school children.

This school system has served my children very well to date, but news of what is being allowed at Rosy Glow is unnerving. In my opinion, it requires that you address it immediately. We are proud of a school system that fosters independent thought and a balanced approach to learning. Regarding the above situation (as it was explained to me), this system is doing a disservice to its children and parents.

Thank you for your kind consideration of my concerns. And thank you for all that you do for the schools to equip teachers and embolden students to face a world of diverse and difficult challenges.

Sincerely…

The response of this fine school board was swift, though my voice had been quiet; and I am thankful. Based on reports, I trust that the issue has been handled sufficiently.

Friends, when you are fortunate enough to recognize injustices around you, act. When you see unfairness, speak. I’m not only referring to injustice in Africa or the Middle East; global things. The thought of trying to effect change there overwhelms me. I’m not large, loud or significant enough a human being to do anything about that. My voice seems to get lost in the cacophony of politics, or even just in the wind.

BUT, where I do have a voice loud enough to be heard, I’ve decided it’s time to speak. I encourage you to, also. You don’t have to be harsh or obnoxious. When you see an injustice that catches in your gut – and you all know what I mean – decide what you want to say, & find the best ear. Be firm, be calm, be respectful. Then just say it.


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1 comment:

Meg said...

I think how you addressed the school board was wonderful and respectful, and I certainly hope they took the necessary steps in order to correct severely unbalanced approaches to this political season. You go, girl!

I do have to disagree with you on the issue of Africa, (ofcourse). You CAN effect change there! By sponsoring a child... just touching one life, who knows the change that can be brought about there? You are certainly making a life-or-death difference to that one child. And who knows what that child will grow up to be. Jesus started with just 12 men and look where we are today, because he invested in the lives of just a few mere men. So, most respectfully, I disagree with the statement that "I am not... significant enough a human being to do anything about that". :)