Letter writer questions suspension of teacher for Halloween costume

Dear Editor:

What lesson has the Antioch California School District taught by suspending, investigating and ultimately shaming a teacher for free speech that was (probably by children, at least) regarded, innocently? (See related article)

I believe you have brought the attention of our children to the limits of healthy dialog.  In a dangerous period in our country, when history lessons are being taken out of schools, violence is allowed to be perpetrated by groups, you could have taught love, understanding, sensitivity and had discussion about intentions, misinterpretations, and perspective.

You could have first met with parents, staff and professionals to discuss and learn why blackening one’s face in a costume could be offensive for Black people. Then you could have had lessons within the schools that attempt to teach sensitivity, respect and regard for all cultural backgrounds. You could have had discussion, about listening to and hearing each other.  Without discussion, a lesson is lost.

Karen Motenko-Neal

Valley Springs, CA

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