Letter: Carroll students need multicultural education

This is in response to Richard Rothschild's column "First 100 days of the new Board of Education" published on Nov. 27. I have multiple concerns with the opinions expressed in this column. I have two children in the Carroll County Public School system and live within Commissioner Rothschild's district. It is disturbing that he is attempting to direct the direction of the Board of Education based on "anecdotal evidence" instead of facts.

From his editorial, it appears Commissioner Rothschild fears America is under attack and the enemy is multiculturalism. He calls the Multicultural Committee for the Carroll County Public Schools "liberal even by San Francisco standards." He describes the fact that students use terms such as social justice, environmental justice, globalism and anthropogenic climate change "troubling." He describes the Privilege Walk (incorrectly noted as "White Privilege Walk") as a shameful exercise in "anti-white class-warfare." He continues on to ask if public schools have become culturally anti-Christian.

What I find shameful and troubling is the undertone of racism and lack of understanding of the Constitution these views express. The preamble to the United States Constitution asserts that we the people will establish justice and promote the general welfare of ourselves and our posterity. Seeking justice is not troubling; it is upholding the ideals on which our country was founded. The First Amendment promises the American people that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." Furthermore, Thomas Jefferson reinforced the idea in 1802 stating "that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man and his God" and that "government reach actions only, and not opinions." Public schools are not becoming anti-Christian; they have never been Christian. It is false to state that Judeo-Christian values have been the standard in America for 200 years.

One of the Carroll County Board of Education's core beliefs is that students will "become knowledgeable, responsible and caring citizens." This includes learning about different cultures, having respect for people different than themselves, and seeking out justice and knowledge of topics that affect everyone across the globe. According to the 2015 census, Carroll County is 90 percent white. Given the fact that United States as a whole is 62 percent white, learning about multiculturalism in school is exactly what our children need to become knowledgeable, responsible and caring citizens.

Jennifer Lewald


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