Letter to the editor: Children should not be denied the right to think critically about nation’s history

By Dena Eakles, President

Echo Valley Hope | rural Ontario

Echo Valley Hope is an educational 501(c)3 nonprofit advancing sustainable living and peace. In response to recent confusion regarding the teaching or not teaching of critical race theory, we offer this:

All school districts must comply with Title VI, The Civil Rights Act of 1964 which simply states, “No person in the United States shall, on the ground of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.

All of our children will benefit from truth telling. None of our children should be denied the right to critically think about the history of this country – or for that matter the history of humankind. 

We believe that by omitting the facts of the attempted genocide of Native peoples, the enslavement of Africans, the mistreatment of Asians and South Americans, we are not only harming children of color — who deserve to know their total history in this country, but we are also denying and harming white children as well. 

The world is changing. Our children must be given the tools to maintain and to function in a civil and civic society. This cannot be done if they are sheltered from basic truths.  Forced ignorance is still ignorance. 

This issue does not belong in the realm of politics or of religion. This belongs in the domain of what it means to be human. Horrible atrocities have been done in the name of religion and in the name of the law. Learning from our past should not be feared. We need to embrace, change and move on. Together.

To that end, Echo Valley Hope will be offering weekly zoom calls beginning Jan. 9 that will feature diverse voices and perspectives. These will be available on our website www.echovalleyhope.org under the category “Widening the Circle.” Everyone is welcome to watch these free sessions. 

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