Letters to the Editor

Disheartened by partial truths involving BISD | Letters | Oct. 8

It disheartens me to read Ms. Dombrowski’s partial truths (“Know-nothings, paper still getting it wrong,” Oct. 1) about the actions of the Bainbridge Island School District five years ago.

It involved the social studies curriculum used by Sonoji Sakai Intermediate School to promote her political agenda.

As a BISD volunteer for seven years, I’ve been involved in the “Leaving Our Island” (LOI) program since it was first implemented. Each year I work with other volunteers to facilitate discussions of the literature used in this unit of study with students.

It has not been “cut from the curriculum,” LOI continues to be presented to sixth graders in a modified format.

Two years ago Mary Woodward’s book, “In Defense of our Neighbors,” was incorporated into the study unit to give students a broader understanding of the issues of that time.

Other new titles will be introduced this year.

I don’t recall Ms. Dombrowski being present at Sakai on the day that Mr. Olsen was met by the police when he appeared on the campus, even though his participation in the LOI program had been rescinded and he had been barred from school property by then superintendent Dr. Ken Crawford.

The press release regarding this incident is public record (BISD Feb. 9, 2005).

While it might be true that Mr. Olsen was not “removed from the classroom,” it is only true because he never made it into the school.

This month the Bainbridge Island Library is holding various public events about the Japanese internment through literature and film.

This is an important part of our local history and I have done my research so that I can be a “know-something” and play a small role in bringing history alive for our island students.

Shelley Schwinn

Bainbridge Island

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