Students deserve respect
In “Stop Using Students as Political Ploys,” the Lexington Republican Town Committee used excerpts from an email from Superintendent Czajkowski to assert that our schools are indoctrinating students into a school-approved political action with which they (the LRTC) disagree. Their assertion is false.
First, Lexington students are planning the March 14 walkout on their own. They are not asking permission and will walk out regardless of any school discipline that ensues. They are striving to make the action inclusive, so anyone who wants to can join them, while also understanding that many will not participate – because they disagree, do not wish to face consequences, or other reasons. Student organizers estimate that about 10 percent of Lexington High School students will participate.
Second, school administrators and teachers are not organizing the action and are not turning the student action into a school activity. Rather, some are working to ensure public safety, provide coverage for the many students who will not walk out, and make decisions about consequences for those who do walk out.
Some school staff agree with the students’ purpose and plan to stand in solidarity with those who walk out -- without taking over. Like the students, these individuals have stated that they are not asking permission and will stand in solidarity regardless of consequences. Some would like to know in advance what any consequences will be so they can factor that into their decision whether to stand with students who walk out.
The LRTC’s opinion piece also espoused political beliefs about the Parkland tragedy and response. I disagree, but I won’t address that here. Instead I want to applaud our students’ initiative and sense of civic responsibility. Their initiative, courage, and action deserve respect, not false claims of indoctrination.
— Valerie Overton, Emerson Gardens
Students are not ‘political ploys’: they are targets
Thank you to the Minuteman for printing the Lexington Republican Town Committee’s guest commentary in last weeks paper.
I read and reread the commentary.
The Lexington Republican Town Committee put forth the familiar list of non-solutions to the epidemic of school shootings we continue to suffer through: 290 school shootings since 2013, starting shortly after Sandy Hook.
What I find ‘particularly galling’ (the Committee’s expression) is their statement: “our schools must recognize the political nature of the debate and steer clear of it.”
Really? Could we please have more specifics about how to ‘steer clear’ of this issue when our kids in school are trying to dodge bullets being fired at them from a military-grade assault weapon? When they’re lying on the floor or trying to hide in a classroom closet while their classmates and friends are dying around them?
Our elected ‘grownups’ in Washington don’t seem to be able to make any forward progress on dealing with what a clear majority of Americans view as a national crisis.
I applaud and support our students and educators, those most directly impacted, to drive change.
After all, they are the ones being shot and killed.
— Ed T. Bond, Simonds Road