Having the article in the paper about the holocaust/gas chamber issue, and reading all the responses, on the New-Gazette site as well as various facebook pages, etc., has been really thought provoking. Of course many people see this as a freedom of speech issue but I don't believe that's what it was. I think it was promoting incorrect, dangerously incorrect, facts in the classroom, whether it was part of the curriculum or not. That's not what has really surprised me though. I understand that point of view (feeling that it's a free speech issue) even though I happen to disagree with it. What has left me feeling sort of bashful is all the kudos I am getting for bringing this out. As I said to my friend Howard in a message the other day, "I'm getting too much credit for this. All I did was send an email." He wisely said, "From tiny seeds...and yet someone has to plant the seed."
Yes, seeds. It gave me pause and I've been thinking about the fact that perhaps sometimes we don't plant a seed because it seems unlikely it will grow...but NOT planting a seed might let dangerous weeds take over. As ever it solidifies my belief that we should try to make our voices heard. As I tell the boys, it may not change anything, but it's still important to speak up for what you believe. I'm not always as good at it as I would like to be, but I try, whether it's speaking out against State insurance plans, stating who I would support politically, or now this, saying that it's not o.k. for a teacher to be telling high school freshman that Jews (and others in the concentration camps) were NOT killed in gas chambers, that the chambers were only for delousing.
It's not o.k.
Little words, but important nonetheless.