‘There is nothing partisan about liberty and justice for all’

| 07 Mar 2021 | 05:05

    I am a proud Warwickian and a parent of children in our school system. I am writing to extend sincere gratitude to Dr. David Leach and the members of the WVCSD Board of Education. Their step in hiring Dr. Gess LeBlanc as equity consultant for the district is commendable.

    It is critical, but not always easy, to acknowledge that Warwick students experience racism. As a society, we are still learning, growing and are far from perfect.

    Acknowledging this indicates maturity and critical self-reflection. If this acknowledgement causes discomfort, that is understandable. It should.

    But it is not an excuse for denial. For the sake of our children and future, the culture and curriculum in our schools must be inclusive and free of explicit and implicit bias.

    Informed parents are aware that racial slurs occur in person and on social media among students.

    Faculty needs the tools to address this, and our children need avenues to report it.

    Those on the receiving end deserve to feel heard and supported.

    Students using racial slurs deserve the chance to learn better.

    The district has a role as a duty-bearer, to realize the rights of all students.

    Informed citizens are aware that a Black woman walking recently in our town had the N-word yelled to her from a passing car.

    They remember Nazi graffiti in the Temple Beth Shalom Cemetery in October 2016.

    They remember it in the Warwick skatepark in February 2020.

    Two months ago, the Village of Warwick DPW had to paint over graffiti by the white supremacist group “Patriot Front.”

    People who insist that racism does not exist contribute to this problem. They should speak with people of color and listen to their stories. We must bridge the gap.

    This brings me to the March 5 “Warwick Parents for Common Sense” ad which was very regrettably published by The Warwick Advertiser.

    It was not signed by any actual Warwick residents; how curious.

    Its claim that Warwick is exempt from racism is willful ignorance.

    Its claim of a political agenda surrounding equity and inclusion is desperate.

    There is nothing partisan about “liberty and justice for all.”

    They should be aware that this community will not halt our progress forward.

    They should know their efforts to infiltrate our school board will not succeed.

    We all know better. We can all be better.

    I am proud to state my perspective and sign my name.

    Are they?

    Kristina Garritano Hoti