Letter to the editor: Uncomfortable conversations help us learn together
As a community member, mom and educator, I found the sheriff’s letter disheartening. While cherry-picking one line in the district’s press release, he failed to acknowledge the entire statement. If the sheriff agrees law should be enforced with “compassion and understanding,” then he should apply those same values to examining and dismantling inequities of unjust systems, including the justice system. For if justice worked the way it was promised on paper, we would not need to question systems and institutions of “authority.” The law is not always right simply because of policy; “facts” and criminal cases are not always truthful; justice is not always just.
Sadly, the sheriff missed the point: The district was reaffirming a commitment to address systemic inequities. Summit School District’s statement concludes, “Striving toward this commitment requires us to think differently, engage differently, and act differently as we move beyond words to transformative action.” This was an open invitation for our community — especially community leaders — to engage in learning with us. Rather than leaning into a difficult conversation, the sheriff chose to use his power and privilege to warn the community against equity education. The sheriff is not an educator and is seemingly uneducated about equity literacy; his words to “consider the ramifications” of something he does not understand are unprofessional and irresponsible. Our community deserves better.
Overwhelmingly, Summit teachers support equity education. To our community: First, please trust the educational professionals working to ensure success for all our students; second, lean into uncomfortable conversations so we can engage as open-minded learners together. If there are questions, concerns or inquiries about equity education, we encourage you to become a learner with us. And if you ever want to have a constructive conversation, know that many of your knowledgeable Summit educators and leaders are willing and open.
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