By Pam Everhardt Bloom
RThis recent news about what makes people “uncomfortable” and how they react gets me thinking about how some of these views on raising our children might possibly be reflected here in Rowan County.
It is encouraging to see that members of school boards, school systems, and private residences have successfully and professionally dealt with “uncomfortable” issues for years. Yet these success stories rarely make the headlines. When it comes to our children, I hope Rowan residents are capable of more rational thinking and less emotional reactions to the tugs of the news and social media. We can choose to ignore the sensational headlines that often seem to be more about political unrest and fabricated outrage and instead focus on what’s really happening in our community.
At a minimum, some of the loudest voices across the country would have us believe that our educators are conspiring while they come up with lesson plans. Honestly, do we really believe that our teachers enter the profession to indoctrinate students rather than to teach? I do not think so. Let’s not go into mob mentality in Rowan County because someone somewhere wants to win an election. Let’s use common sense, talk among ourselves and support our educators.
What does “uncomfortable” mean? For the Christians among us, how many church leaders and parents have stopped and thought long and hard about how to teach their children about the brutal crucifixion of Jesus? Nailing a man’s hands and feet to a cross can certainly be considered an “uncomfortable” discussion for a young child or for adults teaching this story or other potentially upsetting Bible stories. Yet Christians around the world are finding a way to teach their religious traditions without banning Bibles and removing them from their homes and Sunday School classrooms. They believe their children are capable of growing in their Christian faith and trust their clergy as professionals, their Sunday School teachers as value instillers, and themselves as loving parents. .
I believe that children can accept “uncomfortable” lessons at school just as they understand their family’s religious beliefs. As a retired educator and associate of a children’s library, I have discovered that children of all ages have the ability and interest to absorb uncomfortable stories and facts and learn important lessons. about life. Knowledge can make us better human beings and some of the best lessons happen through exposure to a variety of literature and yes, even the ugly truths found in our history.
I believe in teachers and their ability to teach age appropriately. I believe in public schools and their mission to teach all children through an evidence-based curriculum. I believe that parents can and should continue school discussions at home while honoring the professionalism of trained teachers and school administration. Education and parental opinion have coexisted for years. Can we pause and brag about the good that is happening in the public classrooms of Rowan County rather than succumb to fabricated political outrage on a favorite channel or the loudest voices?
Perhaps, more importantly, we need to remember that our children are watching us – the adults. Are we going to teach them that yelling and bad language are the new norm? Do we want them to live in a world where you hide from anything uncomfortable, ridicule or ban anything you disagree with? Or do we want our Rowan County children to grow up to be adults who have learned to hold civil discourse, to read rationally and discern opinion from factual information, and to base their opinions on knowledge, empathy and ‘personal experience ?
Can the majority of adults in Rowan County agree on the importance of education and support our hard-working children and educators rather than being sidetracked by politicized national trends? I hope. Our children deserve a well-rounded upbringing, not this recent tendency to “picking cherries” to suppress a thorough knowledge of history and literature. “Uncomfortable” stories and facts, whether in education or in life, will continue to exist long after the news is on the next incendiary program.
Pam Everhardt Bloom lives in Salisbury.