Letter: Speaking up for our children


To the Editor of THE EAGLE:

Two Letters to the Editor on July 7 concerned our young people, both on education and responsibility.

One letter ("Educate Youth on the Holocaust") pleads for ongoing awareness of the 20th century European holocaust. The other ("Pittsfield must clean up its language") concerns the flagrant use of vulgarity coming from the 13- to 19-year-olds in classrooms and on our streets.

Having been a teacher in the New York State public schools two decades ago, both subjects of these letters even then, were on my long list of educational concerns.

The problem of what we teach goes back a long time to when geography, history, civics and the like were merged into one subject called social studies -- three educational necessities given one third of the time necessary to cover the learning vital to students’ understanding of the world we in our United States inhabit. Of course, at the appropriate age of understanding, teaching about the Holocaust is as necessary to history as is slavery, the wars we fought, and all humankind’s struggles for human rights. How to fit the appropriate amount at the appropriate grade levels is a task curriculum educators need to ponder and not ignore if we are ever to evolve into a more humane society.

I believe that when within the ears of the school teacher, vulgarity should never be acceptable nor overlooked without precursory action -- period! Such language is a problem stemming from the home and is up to the school authorities to set and enforce its own rules of behavior within school territory.

Cheers for both authors of these letters who speak up for our children.




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