Big­otry will never make Amer­ica great

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - OPINION -

Dear Edi­tor: The elec­tion has now passed and Pres­i­dent-elect Trump be­gins his tran­si­tion to the White House, as­sem­bles his team and be­gins to im­ple­ment cam­paign prom­ises. Given the di­vi­sive­ness of the cam­paign, he has now been chal­lenged with the added task to unite and heal the na­tion. I would add, to ex­plain. What does he say to the chil­dren of our coun­try? Or per­haps it is what he has al­ready said and what we must say to our chil­dren now.

We teach di­ver­sity and in­clu­sion. How do we ex­plain that our new pres­i­dent wants to ex­clude peo­ple based upon re­li­gious prac­tice and skin color?

Where ed­u­ca­tion over the last sev­eral decades has worked to in­te­grate class­rooms and in­clude stu­dents of all ca­pa­bil­i­ties, how do we ex­plain a pres­i­dent who mocked a phys­i­cally chal­lenged reporter on na­tional tele­vi­sion?

Where re­spect is a core value of the ed­u­ca­tional mis­sion, how do we ex­plain to our stu­dents who re­peat­edly heard deroga­tory words, in some cases too “locker room” to re­peat?

Bul­ly­ing is a na­tional cri­sis that has re­sulted in teen/ young adult sui­cide, de­pres­sion and sub­stance abuse. And yet, Trump used bul­ly­ing tac­tics through­out his cam­paign, but, when asked it he had any re­grets, said, “No, I won.” Do we now also teach that the “end jus­ti­fies the means”?

The Free­man — “Mid-Hud­son school su­per­in­ten­dents watch­ing for Trump-re­lated be­hav­ior prob­lems,” Nov. 16, 2016 — quoted our lo­cal school su­per­in­ten­dents on their “height­ened sense of aware­ness about ha­rass­ment and bul­ly­ing” fol­low­ing the elec­tion. In­deed, racists in­ci­dents in some our na­tion’s schools have al­ready been re­ported by The As­so­ci­ated Press. Do we re­verse our leadby-ex­am­ple pos­ture? How do we ex­plain?

Pol­i­tics can lead to teach­able mo­ments. It is time to put pol­i­tics aside and search for ex­plain­able mo­ments, where we help our chil­dren un­der­stand that big­otry in­stills fear and ha­tred; does not unite, but di­vides; does not heal, but fes­ters. And will never make us great.

Mau­reen Bow­ers, Hur­ley The writer is a for­mer mem­ber of the Kingston Board of Ed­u­ca­tion.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.