June 15, 2022

All Would Benefit from Calling Each Other Into Conversation Rather Than Calling People Out

To the Editor:

As we near the end of the school year, another challenging year after many, we wanted to thank our school administrators, teachers, and faculty for all they have done to help our kids to be safe and to learn together during this past school year. They were asked to be not only educators but also public health professionals, facing many competing demands on their time and a lack of shared consensus on the best ways to operate. 

We applaud the superintendent and Board of Education for trying to take on many of the big challenges that our community faces — around growth and capacity, mental health challenges, and advancing equity  — not to mention that we are still in the midst of a pandemic. None of these are easy to address, and everyone is human, operating within constraints that are not always clear, especially for a public school district. 

We all see the narratives across the country around inciting fear and an us-versus-them, zero-sum mentality. We trust that we all want to make things better for our children and our community and we would all benefit from healthy debate — calling each other into the conversation rather than calling people out, fear mongering, spreading misinformation, and making sweeping assumptions about hidden agendas. 

As we move into the summer and another school year, we ask that the district do its best to be as transparent as possible, and to engage in real partnership with community members in advancing equity and other shared strategic goals. We also ask that community members engage fairly with district officials, with an open mind — continuing to ask good questions, for information and meaningful partnership, but not spreading misinformation and fear. 

There has to be accountability but also grace.

Tara Oakman
Valley Road

Sarah Torian
Leigh Avenue