Monday, September 27, 2021

We All Have a Responsibility to Listen, Grow and Ensure Freedoms for Others

Letters to the Editor submitted to The Coronado Times are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the publisher, editors or writers of this publication. Submit letters to letters@coronadotimes.com.

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Submitted by Whitney N. Antrim


Dear Coronado,

As a CHS Alum, I look back on my time in school fondly. I have so many cherished memories  — from cheer, to drama, and taking my first steps into adulthood.

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Leaders in this community guided me. Teachers, coaches, my parents and grandparents, Navy officers, church leaders, and other mentors. Adults who set an example of what it meant to be kind to others, and to take responsibility for my actions.

I learned those values– kindness, and accountability– here in Coronado.

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I was born and raised here. Built here. Shaped here. And here — our home —  is where I choose to stay and do the hard work of challenging myself to become even better. Because that’s what Coronado taught me to do.

Coronado also taught me to lift up and celebrate those who work hard to achieve success. I am so proud of our boys basketball team! I want to congratulate them on a great season with many thrilling wins. Our students worked hard and they should be able to reap the rewards of their efforts. Unfortunately, their success has been overshadowed by the hurtful and misguided actions of the adults charged with guiding and supporting them.

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Like many of us, I know Luke Serna personally. He is also a product of Coronado High. I don’t think he thought through the possible consequences of his actions, but he made a mistake that led to real harm. I believe the appropriate course of action is to protect the students and players. And I made that known to him.

We all have a responsibility as a community to address the pain caused. We all have a responsibility to listen, and be uncomfortable, and grow.

Just as we cannot condemn every person on Coronado as racist because of the actions of a few, we cannot dismiss the many stories of pain and discrimination told by our own community members as well as those impacted by it.

This goes beyond a single incident or a single game. Last year, in the throes of a national conversation on race, our own students marched and told us that they were subject to racist incidents right here at home. In our own community. In our own schools.

If you are one of the fortunate souls who has “never seen or felt racism” in Coronado, I’d like to ask, “What do you say to those who have?” Do you discount or disbelieve them? Or will you accept them and commit to ensuring they have the same positive experiences as you from now on? You can be part of the change to bring kindness and love.

Whether we want to admit it or not, we have a problem and we must confront it. We cannot run away from it. That’s not what this community does — we are fighters.

We must fight to ensure people of all backgrounds are welcome here and have access to all basic Constitutional protections granted to them by our very own military community, many  of whom died to protect those very rights.

Coronado fights for freedom. And we have an opportunity here to expand that freedom– equality, justice, and the pursuit of happiness– to everyone who steps foot in our community.

We must rise to this challenge. I do not challenge Coronado to hurt Coronado. I challenge Coronado because I love this town, and the people here taught me to always strive for better.

With Love,

Whitney N. Antrim
Trustee, Coronado Unified School Board

 

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Managing Editor
Originally from upstate New York, Dani Schwartz has lived in Coronado since 1996. She is thrilled to call Coronado home and raise her two children here. In her free time enjoys hitting the gym, reading, and walking her dog around the “island.” Have news to share? Send tips, story ideas or letters to the editor to: manager@coronadotimes.com
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