Letter: Let’s encourage students to be respectful, responsible

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Editor,

When I saw the two-page advertisement paid for by “Unify Carmel,” I thought we all need to send a note of support to Prairie Trace Elementary Principal Kimberly Piper for her professionalism as an educational leader. I wondered if this group’s true focus is on dividing, rather than uniting.

Our schools need to educate students to form their ideas and opinions based on facts and intellect rather than conspiracies and ignorance. We should know the stories of countless Americans who have fought and continue to fight for our country’s mission of “justice for all.” Ms. Piper shared that she was listening to The 1619 Podcast. The 1619 Project podcast chronicles the start of 250 years of slavery in America. It is a resource that expands our understanding of our history.

Teachers know how to teach U.S. history in appropriate and meaningful ways based on grade levels and curriculum mapping followed for each subject. Ms. Piper was not instructing her staff to teach at the AP or college level, but rather she shared her impression of this well researched and factual resource about our history.

Young people need adults to help them develop intellectually, emotionally, socially, artistically and physically. It is through education rooted in civil and intellectual conversations, quality literature and research, that we expand our knowledge. Let’s not stifle our educators’ ability to expand their own thinking and knowledge as well as bring their intellect to inspire students to become lifelong learners. Let’s encourage students to be respectful and responsible — rather than divisive and judgmental.

Shelley Carey, Carmel

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