To the Editor:
I am so grateful to see the outpouring of dismay at the hateful pamphlet that was distributed to our town this week. As a 36-year Easton resident and alumna of our school district, it gives me hope.
I have seen many remarks by those uncomfortable with the DEI work that our schools are introducing, asking to keep this discussion out of the schools, and solely at the discretion of the parent. I have also seen comments suggesting that “young children” should not be “tainted” with this discussion. Respectfully, as a pediatrician, the evidence does not support this.
There is solid evidence that children notice racial differences at an early age and are able to apply stereotypes by preschool. Children are perceptive…they pick up on both our verbal and non-verbal cues as adults, and learn from our explicit and implicit biases. Adults who believe that children are “too young” to learn about delay these conversations, and miss crucial opportunities to raise a child who is both aware of race and diversity and its affects on society at large.
Most of our children will graduate JBHS and go forth into the world, only to return for visits and holidays. Our town, our parents, our school district needs to not only prepare our children to succeed locally, but to be ready for their future. This goes beyond “reading, writing and arithmetic,” and includes being able to adapt to an ever-changing society.
This is hard work. Uncomfortable work. And necessary work.