To the editor:
I am a sophomore at Bainbridge High School and was recently informed about a backlash against including antiracist curricula in Bainbridge schools, and maybe even efforts to ban the book Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi from the 8th-grade curriculum.
I have read that book, along with other books by Ibram X. Kendi, and it greatly impacted my worldview and awareness of the history of racism in America. I think it is essential that other kids in our community learn these perspectives, too, because racism is an integral part of our shared history.
I’ve heard that the group questioning antiracist curricula is called Bainbridge Parents for Honest Education, and I’d like to take this opportunity to share what honest education means to me.
Honest education means students being taught the real truths of our history, not a watered-down version to prevent white kids from feeling bad. Honest education means teaching not just with equality—which is treating everyone the same—but with equity—which means fixing disparities between groups in order to give everyone the tools they need to succeed. And honest education means giving kids the resources to be educated citizens, aware of our nation’s past mistakes so that we don’t repeat them in the future.
What honest education is not is using quotes from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as an excuse to teach kids less about racism and reality. Honestly, Bainbridge, we can do better.
To the editor:
One of our two state Reps. — Tarra Simmons, representing the 23rd District of which Bainbridge is a part — has recently faced death threats after filing a bill.
While the nature of this bill may spark controversy — it addresses whether fatal drive-by shootings should carry an “aggravator” condition in sentencing — threatening public officials with death can never be acceptable and must be met with vigorous law enforcement investigation, followed by all applicable charges, and conviction if found guilty.
She faced these threats in her personal social media accounts. I call on these sites to investigate the sources of these threats, and immediately and permanently terminate the accounts as they violate the sites’ terms of service — and to report the results of their investigation to law enforcement.
We cannot tolerate death threats to our public officials. We cannot allow public officials to be intimidated, nor face the possibility of murder to them or their families. These threats are an attack on all of us since they threaten the very foundation of a democratic society.
This case may require the involvement of the FBI since the source of these threats may extend far beyond Kitsap County.