Open Letter to the WLWV School Board
The West Linn Alliance strongly supports the efforts of our school district to integrate diversity, equity, and inclusion into our school curriculum. We see that, across our nation today, there is a movement to stop schools from their primary task of educating our children. America is a great country, but this fact does not negate the bigotry, prejudice, and racism that has accompanied the rise of our nation. This history is not an indictment of us as individuals, but rather it is part of our common heritage. Ignoring the role of race and racism in the development of our culture does our children and us a disservice. Understanding factual history does not demean us as individuals. Instead, it provides a strong foundation for facing our future, and fulfilling our nation’s core values of liberty and justice for all.
The debates that are occurring in many school boardrooms today are not always conversations to discuss the facts. In some cases, they are attempts to obscure the fact that racism was an integral part of our early economic system and was further baked into our institutions and social structures during the Jim Crow era. Hiding from our past or pretending racism does not exist is a path into ignorance, not a path towards real education and academic growth.
The West Linn Alliance urges the West Linn Wilsonville School district to continue fulfilling its role in educating our children by ensuring that our country’s history regarding equity and equality is a factual and meaningful part of the curriculum. Without a clear understanding of the past, our children are hampered in moving forward towards a meaningful future. Without clear messages from the classroom that all students are valued, and all students have an equitable opportunity to learn and grow as human beings, we will fail in our obligations to educate the next generation.
Thank you for considering our comments, and we thank the School Board members for their service to our community.