Sunday, September 26, 2021

The Insulation Remains

It has been a rough week in the old Columbia/HoCo. I looked back to see what was happening a year ago and came across this:

Bursting the Bubble

This paragraph made me think:

I’ve said that I’m not going to write about the Board of Education race this year, and so far I’ve held to that. But I’d like to leave you with one thought: no one should be serving students and families in Howard County and still feel content to operate almost completely in a world of whiteness. That is not what the job entails. We cannot keep electing people who can insulate themselves from the harm being done to others. 

Does our current BOE understand the lived experiences of all of our students, or just some? Do their words and actions show true comprehension and empathy?

For our students, their introduction to community “life and how we live it” begins in school. Are the experiences they are having equitable and just? Are we preparing them for a lifetime of learning and growth or are we acculturating them to endure and tolerate inequity and injustice?

I’m really struggling with this. I still believe that having a Board of Education that can insulate itself from the harm being done to others is the biggest challenge that we face. Not test scores, not school ranking, not “questionable” books in school libraries.

If people in power are silent when certain kinds of students get hurt, they are sending a message, teaching a lesson: only some people’s problems will be elevated. If that’s not you, too bad. You are out of luck. We teach students who are watching that there are certain times when it’s okay to look the other way. Yes, we are teaching them to perpetuate this behavior in their adult lives.

That is wrong. And any school system that isn’t willing to come to terms with this falls short of its mission.

Children Learn What They Live

If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn. 

If children live with hostility, they learn to fight.

If children live with ridicule, they learn to be shy.

If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty.

If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence.

If children live with tolerance, they learn to be patient.

If children live with praise, they learn to appreciate.

If children live with acceptance, they learn to love.

If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves.

If children live with honesty, they learn truthfulness.

If children live with security, they learn to have faith in themselves and others.

If children live with friendliness, they learn the world is a nice place in which to live.

(©1972 Dorothy Law Nolte, All Rights Reserved)

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