Submitted by Carolyn Rogerson
“So let us begin anew – Remembering on both sides that civility is not a sign of weakness, and sincerity is always subject to proof. Let us never negotiate out of fear, but let us never fear to negotiate. Let both sides explore what problems unite us instead of belaboring those problems which divide us.”
– John F. Kennedy.
These words were shared by CUSD Superintendent Karl Mueller in his October 22, 2021 newsletter. Let us hope each CUSD Trustee, President Pontes and meeting attendee takes this advice to heart. Time to let go that which has been so contentious; from the infamous “isms” letter of June 20th to the tabled censure effort. Time to stop the name calling and nasty insinuations of neo-nazi, terrorist, hater, etc. It IS possible to have the same goals of no bullying, no racist name calling or bad behaviors, yet believe there are different paths to achieve these same goals. If some are not parroting your own ideological, political or other sincere beliefs, they are not automatically to be dismissed with vile name calling. Calling anyone a terrorist, white supremacist, oreo or neo-nazi, defeats your own stated goal of tolerance.
Proof, “sincerity is always subject to proof.” If you have no proof, might it be best to not accuse? Might it be better to ask someone what they think, instead deciding you know? All children are hurt when they hear their parents accused of bad behavior. Let us consider the emotions of all children, not just our own. Social media comments, sadly, require no proof.
Regarding CUSD Agenda Item 6.1, Civility and Hate Motivated Behavior. Shouldn’t the beliefs of young children best be decided by their own families? Are schools heaping confusing political or socially engineered rhetoric on those just learning about the world around them, regardless of what their parents want? How do you discipline a child who is asked to believe or understand what another PERCEIVES about themselves, but is not obvious to the eye? Which child needs to understand and respect the other? Probably both.
“Let both sides explore what problems unite us instead of belaboring those problems that divide us.” Nice if that type of transparent exploration is exhibited at all future meetings. The CUSD Board and administrators need to respect the concerns of parents and the community they serve, and address their questions as soon as possible. Respect needs to flow both ways.