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Teachers' firings make a poor lesson

March 23, 2007

Re "Not the lesson they had intended," March 19

As a historian and a parent, I am appalled by the summary firing of two popular charter school teachers for teaching the story of the murder of Emmett Till. Especially disturbing are the comments by the school's executive director justifying the dismissals based on the fact that the school consciously avoids teaching "how the history of the country has been checkered" and instead would rather teach students only to "celebrate all the accomplishments we've made." Ironically, in dismissing teachers who dare to contradict the sugarcoated view of history, the administrator sends a message to the students that controversy can best be dealt with by silencing those who disagree with you. How's that for an uplifting education?

JOHN LLOYD

Assistant professor

of history

Cal Poly Pomona

*

This article shows the extent some have gone to "protect" our children from the realities of life. The argument goes that in order to give children a more positive sense of themselves, we must shield them from the negatives of life. This gives the children a false sense of the world and unattainable expectations. This nonsense creates people who will be unhappy and unable to cope as adults. It's better to expose them to life and to teach them to cope with the negatives in a positive way.

IRVING LEEMON

Northridge

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