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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

June 7, 2013 at 7:57 AM

Teachers protest transfer of colleague

Leave teachers who teach

Supporters of Center School teacher Jon Greenberg rally at a School Board meeting at district headquarters. At left is Vanessa Meraki, who taught at Center School. (Greg Gilbert / The Seattle Times)

Supporters of Center School teacher Jon Greenberg rally at a School Board meeting at district headquarters. At left is Vanessa Meraki, who taught at Center School. (Greg Gilbert / The Seattle Times)

It is surprising that a high-school teacher at an alternative high school in Seattle can be transferred because one student’s family is uncomfortable with his “Courageous Conversations” class on racial and social-justice issues [“Teacher’s transfer protested at board meeting,” NWThursday, June 6]. They only filed two complaints against this teacher, and the school district plans to transfer him to a middle school.This is funny because several years ago, about 10 families (mine included) at an elementary school filed a complaint with the district about an elementary-school teacher who didn’t teach anything. He is still at the school. The district did nothing.

It seems that schools are afraid of teachers who teach and accepting of teachers who don’t teach.

Lucia Regan, Seattle

Discussion of race is necessary

Columnist Jerry Large makes the key point that we need discussions on race or we will never solve our social problems [“Frank talk best lesson of all,” NWThursday, June 6].

I am proud that Eva Cosgrove lists Greenberg’s class as her favorite. Eva completed Western Washington Fellowship of Reconciliation’s Peace Activist Trainee Program, in which we try to help fill in the huge need for racial understanding that the lack of courses like Greenberg’s leaves in Seattle schools.

Let’s not only support Greenberg but call for sensitively taught courses such as his throughout the district.

Ruth Yarrow, Seattle

Schools need more classes like Greenberg’s

Having read both Jerry Large’s opinion and the accompanying article, I am convinced the district has erred badly. This should not be a question about the apparent decadelong popularity of the course with students, nor one of hewing to a course of absolute political correctness so that no one is uncomfortable.

The correct question to ask is: “Is this course and teaching method important to the education of our children?”

Given the appalling torrent of racial venom our kids are exposed to on the Internet and other media channels, and the more subtle racism found in “polite” society, I’d say we need more courses like this one and more teachers like Mr. Greenberg.

Paul Gutowski, Seattle

Comments | More in Education, Education reform | Topics: education, protest, race

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