Letter to the editor: I find civil discourse currently lacking in our country | SummitDaily.com

Letter to the editor: I find civil discourse currently lacking in our country

Phil Friedrich

As I read the “Proposed curriculum standards will produce socially responsible Coloradans” letter to the editor in the Summit Daily, it caused me to reflect back on my 30-plus years as a Colorado teacher and administrator. I had spent countless hours writing and supporting social studies curriculum. To my chagrin, the emphasis on history, civics and social studies around the turn of the century was diminished in lieu of reading, writing, math and science.

I always understood that educators are entrusted with a parent’s most cherished responsibility: their children. Educators are like parents away from home, but parents are the most important part of that equation. As a parent, it was my responsibility to take an active part in my child’s education. We see what happens when parents are ignored. When I don’t see parents involved in revising any curriculum, I see trouble pending.

I also learned early in my career that public employees of all stripes should rise above the political winds that blow back and forth. Easier said than done. It is hard to be unbiased, especially in today’s atmosphere. I remember a science teacher wanting to present evolution to his class, and the principal telling him to give creationism equal time.

For every issue, there are at least two sides. Debate can be healthy. It’s always important to remember that today’s majority opinion can become tomorrow’s minority opinion.

America is a republic and not a democracy, although we have many elements of a democracy within our political system. Our Founding Fathers, imperfect as they were, set up checks and balances, and a separation of powers for good reasons.

Let’s keep the debates open and civil. Some good frequently comes out of civil discourse, something I find currently lacking in our country. The alternatives are frightening.

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