Letters to the Editor

Don’t give up

To the editor:

I was a member of the Bainbridge Island School District curriculum committee when Stamped for middle schoolers by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X Kendi came up for review.

While the ideology behind Stamped is a misconception I still voted to include it in the curriculum. The faculty proposing it assured me that the rather esoteric post-graduate-level theories about critical theory could be distilled down to an eighth-grade level.

There are plenty of books that are objectionable but that doesn’t mean students shouldn’t study them.

What I have since come to learn however is disturbing. It appears the ideology underlying Stamped is now the official doctrine in the schools, and anyone who has an independent thought on the subject is ridiculed or worse. Teachers and administrators dare not object out of fear for their careers.

My Blakely Bulldog kindergartener grandchild mentioned the word segregation recently. The word segregation is brought up in kindergarten? What ever happened to Dick, Jane and Spot?

A cloud has descended over our schools, and there are hundreds of parents who are very concerned about this and other destructive ideologies that are now being imposed on our kids. Hundreds of parents were willing to go public and sent a letter to the district pleading for transparency and were completely rebuffed.

Very disheartened some are trying to find a way to escape what has taken hold in our schools. Some have given up. I won’t.

Thomas Greene


Simmons stuck

State Rep. Tarra Simmons is the primary sponsor of a new bill that would allow people serving criminal sentences to serve on a jury.

Of the many problems with this idea, here are a few. Escorting prisoners between jail and a court will take valuable time from our already understaffed law enforcement agencies. Many people will not feel safe sitting in a deliberation room with a convict in an orange suit and handcuffs who may have a history of violence. We want responsible adults to serve on juries, and people in prison have been shown to have been irresponsible. A resentful prisoner could cause a hung jury.

Even our Democratic Secretary of State Steve Hobbs opposes Simmons’ bill.

This is not the first misguided legislation introduced by Simmons. In 2021 she co-sponsored House Bill 1054, which greatly curtailed police pursuit of suspects. The Association of Washington Cities, over 100 cities, mayors and law enforcement associations have all said those restrictions have resulted in significant numbers of people taking advantage of them to flee police. People who commit a crime, especially when they are not caught, are more likely to commit additional crimes.

Many people realize some of the policies and attitudes adopted during the feverish days of the 2020 “Defund The Police” period were a mistake. Crime, especially murder and car theft, has skyrocketed statewide over the last few years. I encourage Simmons to support policies that reduce the number of crime victims, like restoring police pursuit.

Brian Anderson