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Disappointed by decision to remove chalk art from Catonsville school | READER COMMENTARY

Chalk art by students at Hillcrest Elementary School Thursday, June 18.
Chalk art by students at Hillcrest Elementary School Thursday, June 18. (Mel Tansill/HANDOUT)

I was dismayed by the situation described in “Baltimore County schools to remove children’s Black Lives Matter chalk art from Hillcrest Elementary after free speech tussle” (June 19), where students decorated Hillcrest Elementary with Black Lives Matter and other supportive, encouraging and loving statements, and adults insisted on taking those statements down.

I am a longtime resident of Catonsville and have always thought of our community as welcoming diversity and supporting those less fortunate than ourselves. And this incident has highlighted the rot under that facade. Let us listen to the children’s voices. They are saying stop bullying and work for equality for everyone. Black Lives Matter should not be seen as a threat or hate speech but a rallying cry for all of us to work for equality for all, as our tenets of American society dictate. All men are created equal yet in America, all persons are not treated equally.

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Why do the adults feel threatened when there is a call for a level playing field where some segments of our community would not have to climb the hurdles or jump through the hoops of systemic racism? When everyone has a fair chance to rise to the occasion, seize opportunities and realize their full potential without having to navigate the obstructions of racism, we all benefit. People can be happier, healthier, more educated and more productive. If we lived in a community where everyone could be these things there may be less crime, less homelessness, less conflict.

Listen to the children. Let their words stand to remind how all of us should be working to make a better more equal and just community.

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Kelly Boyle, Catonsville

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