Kids helping ‘us older folks’ improve what we left unfinished
I commend The Low Down for publishing divergent Letters to the Editor in its May 17 edition regarding homophobic incidents at St. Mike's High School.
Two parents expressed serious concerns about these hateful actions. They expanded the scope of these discussions. I was most impressed by the senior student whose letter was clear, concise and well-reasoned. He buttressed his opinions with first-hand experience, facts and research citations. He also elevated the understanding of these cases to be part of systemic problems – part of our schools and our society at large.
I make special note of his courage and integrity in writing his letter. We need more people like this speaking up, and I am encouraged by the efforts and attitudes of our younger leaders. They have learned much and are improving some things that we older folks have left unfinished.
Lastly, I want to address Edwin Weber’s “Hate crime?” letter. This is not an attack on its author but an attempt to understand the reasoning the letter presents. The author contends that “the vast silent majority” knows that Pride has morphed into an extreme, radical, left-wing political organization. This use of “the silent majority” trope is meant to convince the reader that there is a hidden group of people who support the author’s opinions - hardly a scientific or logical argument. I bring this
up since the author relies on the use of “scientific and biological” arguments (as opposed to “feelings and emotions”) in his letter but does not cite examples of what these are. He claims that any other opinions which oppose Pride values face
serious consequences. How so? What consequences? He states that equal rights have morphed into special rights - what does he mean? Aren’t these basic human
rights for all?
He finally sums up high school (what it is and what it should be) without evidence. The author writes, "Should we teach kids to be nicer and more accepting of each other? Sure. Is it going to work? Hell no. High school is not supposed to be easy. It is supposed to prepare you for the real world…suck it up and deal with it every day for the rest of your life…keep pride out of schools...”
These “facts” and conclusions are not supported by evidence. These are much like the “vast silent majority” lurking somewhere in the shadows – unknowable and therefore
unassailable. They are based on unfounded opinions – the basis of the biases that we all carry. Better that we discuss these openly and expose them to the light of reason.
Hopefully, we can prepare kids for a better world. Students like Arden McArthur can help us understand how to do that.
We should listen to them.