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Find out what's being taught in schools

I attended many Taconic and Green School Board meetings, and learned that in general, zoom classes during the pandemic were not successful and that teachers deserve so much credit for creating a learning environment while students were still adjusting to life back in a classroom.

However, I took a course given to the teachers in the prior year on “implicit bias” and observed some concerning ideas that would be of interest to parents and the tax paying public. The “implicit bias” course material included terms like “wokeness,” “white privilege,” “trigger,” “microaggression,” “appropriate whiteness," and “white supremacy.” The Chair of the Board told me that one of the authors of an article included in the “implicit bias” course believes “appropriate whiteness” occurs when white people can be proud of themselves and their ethnic backgrounds without falling into the trap of white supremacy.

The above terms are the vocabulary of Critical Race Theory (CRT), which is not history, but rather a divisive theory based on Marxist ideology intended to fracture our nation, claiming that the United States is a regime of white supremacy. CRT proponents claim that “meritocracy” is nothing more than another example of “white supremacy.” It seems to me that parents would be very interested in knowing whether those terms can be introduced to their children. However the Board was not forthcoming about whether teachers can use those terms with their students, and they indicated they do not believe those terms are racist. The National Education Association, the largest teacher’s union, supports teaching Critical Race Theory and the 1619 Project, which is another historically inaccurate document.

Most are in favor of teaching the unabridged history of our country, but not in favor of teaching a child of K-8 grade level that they are privileged (or victims) because of the color of their skin, or that they have (or do not have) “appropriate whiteness.”

What can parents do? In 1974 Congress passed the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA). Federal law allows parents to (1) review the curriculum used to instruct their children in public schools, and (2) prevent schools from asking highly personal questions about students’ sex lives, drug usage, and matters of that nature without parental consent.

Eric Salat
Manchester
 

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On Thursday, June 9, Vermont PBS and VPR hosted a debate for the Democratic candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives. Throughout this debate, one candidate stood out as poised, passionate about the issues facing Vermonters, and qualified to represent Vermont in the federal government. That candidate was Lieutenant Governor Molly Gray.
 
Molly was ready to deliver a concise and well-developed answer to every question, and never flinched or stumbled when faced with complex issues. She led the field in outlining the necessity for a campaign that is focused on the issues Vermonters face, using her allotted question time to request that Sen. Becca Balint join her in a pledge to publicly reject Super PAC money and denounce third-party ads. Whereas other candidates at times struggled to articulate concrete examples of policy which would remedy issues such as climate change or gun safety, Molly made it clear that she will deliver real solutions if elected. 
 
In the area of gun control, she proposed banning automatic weapons and high capacity magazines. In the area of climate change, she highlighted our need to end subsidies for the fossil fuel industry and increase weatherization in homes to reduce energy use and save Vermonters money. Molly’s concrete plans for alleviating healthcare expenses should reassure Vermonters concerned about the cost of medical services. She advocated the expansion of Medicare services to cover dental, vision, and hearing services and to cover all age groups.
 
Molly stood out as a candidate who knows exactly which policies will help Vermonters and which steps must be taken to achieve our goals. Molly’s performance reassured viewers that she has not just the ambition to pass beneficial legislation, but the leadership experience required to follow through on her promises. Molly outlined her passion for foreign policy by touching on her experience as a human rights worker for the International Committee of the Red Cross. She displayed her qualifications to work in Congress when she touched upon her time as a congressional aide to U.S. Rep. Peter Welch. Most importantly, as Lieutenant Governor, Molly has proved that she can represent the voters’ interests while juggling the complexities of government.
 
I highly recommend watching last Thursday’s debate; Molly showed the voters that she is uniquely qualified to represent Vermonters in Congress and lead the charge towards progress on the national stage.
 
Molly Cohen
Bennington

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