There is no denying that our current political climate is growing more polarized every day. Sometimes it feels like our national representatives spend more time bickering than passing legislation, and a deep entrenchment in party ideology has folks defending the indefensible when it’s their team's turn to make a mistake. Many organizations and candidates will even refuse outright to support or engage with those they feel do not lean right or left enough. But actions like these only erode civil discourse and only prevent us from finding solutions to the challenges we face together.
Through this school board race, when you see texts or posts that stoke fear, please remember:
All this rhetoric, these ugly labels and accusations, come from national talking points.
These lists of books come from national interest groups.
Suing school districts and pouring high levels of money into school board campaigns are strategies stemming from a national party agenda.
The most powerful interest group in our district and another in our county are coordinating with out of state organizations who want to swing your vote.
Say it with us: No child should be a pawn in any political game! There is no question that these culture wars hurt our kids. They bring out the worst in us and set a concerning example for impressionable youth. Francis Howell Forward calls on our community leaders to model conflict resolution and mutual respect, to engage in good faith, and to be truthful in their disagreements with one another.
Because at the end of the day, what our children learn in our schools— and from their community— will follow them to workplaces and families and new communities of their own, communities far more diverse and more internationally connected than those today. May we prepare our students to navigate those spaces with grace and balance and joy.