Letters to the Editor for Aug. 5, 2021

Washougal parent: Come to school board meetings, stand up for equity and anti-racism

I am a parent of a student in Washougal School District and a community member. I am writing to ask you for your help.

I would like you to please pay attention to our local school board meetings. There is a problem right now that affects us all. It is harming our community and shared public spaces. There is a myth that Critical Race Theory is being taught in schools. That is not true, but those that think it is, continue to disrupt local school board meetings.

The truth is that there is a change happening in education that is focused on equity and anti-racism. It’s allowing everyone to achieve success no matter their identity group (ability, gender, economic status, race, orientation, etc.) and that those identities will not predetermine levels of success.

Equity in education is necessary for economic mobility. Anti-racism is just the opposite of racism. Anti-racism addresses and works to remove those barriers that prevent academic success.

Some like to say that “equal outcome means communism,” but that is not the case. It means that education is individualized for the student to support their specific needs. For example, a teacher cannot assign grade level reading material in a classroom full of different reading levels. Instead, a teacher would need to have the same material at different reading levels available. In this instance, success means getting students to grade level in reading. It addresses everyone’s needs where they are in their own learning.

Who would be against that? Why would they be against that? Is it that people need to be educated or are they entrenched in their beliefs? Do they not want everyone to achieve success? Is the issue empathy or lack of empathy? I do not know.

The only thing I do know is that they are going to continue to show up to school board meetings to try to affect change with this myth. So, we also need to show up and voice our support for equity and anti-racism. We need to show up as a community to support each other and our school board. We need to show up at board meetings, write to our local papers and show support for this policy all over social media. If we don’t, everyone will think we are OK with it.

See, I’m also a teacher. I didn’t mention that at the beginning because some people dismiss my opinion because I’m a teacher. I don’t understand why, but that’s how some feel. It’s really scary to speak up because people think we (teachers) shouldn’t have a voice. They have attempted to dox me (defined as publishing private, identifying information about an individual online, usually with malicious intent), and I’ve had my job threatened.

Thankfully, the district I work in is doing the same type of equity and anti-racism work. Even with all the risks, I have decided that I have to speak up because I am a parent of a student in Washougal School District, and that is my right.

Wendi Moose,