COUNTERPOINT: When 'they' came after 'us'
Guest column by Terry Nebelsick, South Dakota Board of Education Standards president
This is the end of a very difficult week for “Us.” “We” spent Monday, April 17 listening, for the fourth time to what “they” think of “us”.
So who are “we?”
“We” are several generations of teachers, parents, administrators, school board members and tribal leaders who have worked with “our” communities and tribes for decades, educating “our” children with the best professionals, best practices, best information and best training possible. “We” have worked very hard to never violate that trust. “Our” school boards and tribal boards review what “we” are teaching and what policies “we” adhere to. “Our” parents communicate with “us” as “we” work every day to earn “their” trust.
Ninety percent of “us” were raised within seventy-five miles of where “we” teach. “Our” parents and grandparents trust “us” as “we” practice Agape Love — unconditionally loving every child — regardless of hurts, poverty and brokenness. And most importantly, “we” love every child regardless of their test scores. “We” know that “our” hurting children will represent the famous 30 percent that are cited when “they” try to discredit “our” work. “We” know that no private school or home school provides opportunities to that 30 percent. As a result of “our” commitment, Gov. Kristi Noem cites “our” wonderful public schools when traveling to tell others about “us”. “Our” communities and the school boards that “we” elect, stay close and engaged to make sure that “we” do the very best teaching possible with the resources available. It is very important to remember this week that “we” have always provided honest and factual classroom teaching that prepared students to engage in “our” civil society. Insinuation that “we” have not is by far the most painful accusation from which to try to recover.
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