Letters to the Editor

Why pay her?

To the editor:

As a resident of North Kitsap County, I am disgusted and appalled by the decision of the North Kitsap school board to place superintendent Laurynn Evans on paid administrative leave. Regardless of the outcome of the upcoming trial, the fact that there is a video recording of her destroying campaign signs, and corroboration by two eyewitnesses, leaves no doubt that she has betrayed the public’s trust and is unworthy to serve as superintendent.

As someone who spent over 30 years working in the public sector in various management and senior management capacities, I can say without equivocation that in my experience, anyone committing such a brazen criminal act would be fired, or at the very least placed on unpaid leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

I hope that other residents of North Kitsap County feel the same way and that we let the North Kitsap school board know in no uncertain terms that we have lost confidence in their ability to lead our public schools and will vote accordingly.

David Behar


What’s objectionable?

To the editor:

As a retired teacher I am always interested in articles or letters concerning education. In a recent letter to the editor a book called Stamped was mentioned and, wrote the author, “the ideology behind Stamped is a misconception,” and “it appears the ideology underlying Stamped is now official doctrine in the schools.” He also wrote that “there are hundreds of parents who are concerned about this and other destructive ideologies that are now imposed on our kids.”

I am curious, what exactly does Stamped promote? Is the Stamped doctrine really a destructive ideology taught at Bainbridge schools?

The letter caught my attention because I have once been accused of teaching “destructive theology,” that is probably worse than destructive ideology. As part of my World History class, discussing Hellenic art and architecture and philosophy, my students read Plato’s Cave Allegory, and we discussed its existential meaning. A mother complained to the principal, and to everybody who wanted to listen, that I was preaching paganism. My principal supported me 100%, but it was still an unpleasant and time-consuming experience.

The last thing any teacher wants to do is to alienate parents or students by promoting personal views, especially controversial ones. I tried teaching to think but not what to think. You should have seen me carefully dancing around discussing historic events such as Council of Nicaea, the Communist Revolution, Vietnam or other controversial events or people.

James U. Behrend


Racism lessons

To the editor:

I am the parent of a white 11-year-old in the Bainbridge Island School District. My daughter loves learning about civil rights, but recently told me: “Sometimes I wish I could just be a kid without knowing all of the bad things in the world, you know?”

On that topic, I recently read a letter here glorifying the good ol’ days of teaching about “Dick, Jane and Spot” and bemoaning books teaching young kids about segregation.

My response to both my daughter and that letter is:

Children of color and their parents don’t have the luxury of not learning about racism, or of delaying such lessons until children are older. From a young age, Black and Brown children must face those realities for their own protection. Unlike so many white families, who can trace ancestors back generations to European villages, the family trees of BIPOC tell a story of violence, displacement and discrimination, the broad impacts of which continue to this day.

If we wish for such a reality to change, white children must learn our shared history, even the terrible parts. This is what is meant by anti-racist curriculum. Studies show children form racial biases as young as age 3. Early education is vital for ensuring racism is not perpetuated. Until every child is free to be “just a kid” —and not only the white Dicks and Janes—it is essential for all of us, late-learners included, to learn about racism and how to help dismantle it.

B.L. Cook


Cease-fire now

To the editor:

Kitsap ERACE (Equity, Race, And Community Engagement) Coalition is horrified at the killings of Israelis and Palestinians. Kitsap community leaders, including the commissioners and city councils, have a moral obligation to call for an immediate and permanent cease-fire in Israel and Palestine, the immediate release of hostages, and the provision of adequate humanitarian aid for all Palestinians in need.

War is not the answer. Bombings, the killing of civilians and innocent children, rapes, the withholding of food and medical supplies, the taking of hostages, and the brutalization and extermination of peoples are inhumane and morally reprehensible.

We acknowledge and abhor the historic oppression of the Jewish people and the genocide against them in World War II. We also acknowledge the oppression of Palestinian people and the occupation of their territory. We abhor the deaths of many Israelis and tens of thousands of Palestinians killed since October. We call for a permanent cease-fire, immediate release of all hostages and adequate humanitarian aid to Palestinians to prevent more needless deaths. We call for a restorative way forward to address these atrocities and to heal the conflict. We also call for the establishment of a separate Palestinian State because history has taught us that Palestinians will never be free from oppression while being ruled by Israel.

Recently, in the United States and in Kitsap County, there have been increases in incidents of Islamophobia and anti-Semitism. We must stand up against hate, violence and prejudice toward any groups in our diverse community.

Kitsap ERACE Coalition stands for Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s vision of a Beloved Community in which we all belong and live free from injustice. Let us all make a stand for this vision now.

Kitsap ERACE Coalition