Ignorant and Free…

Dear Editor,

Thomas Jefferson once said, “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, it wants what never was, and never will be.” I am a proud public educator. From delivering newspapers door-to-door as a teenager to working at a K-Mart to fund my education, I have learned that hard work and high expectations are keys that lead to personal success.

I believe that teachers today are a torch that stands at the harbor, warding off negativity and intolerance. We teach ALL children, denying no one an education that will light their way to a bright future. We will ALWAYS stand in harm’s way to prevent anyone or anything from disabling the one thing that evens the playing field for all children in our country-a solid education in safe, caring environments.

Teachers believe in students, families, our communities. You see us volunteering with youth teams, at our churches, and anywhere that we can best serve those we care about. Yet lately, we feel under attack. We are portrayed as villains for wanting reasonable class sizes that enable us to teach each and every child, regardless of ability. Teachers are expected to train our students for careers and the future world in which they will live. This takes tools, training, and expertise. Please don’t let anyone tell you those things are unnecessary. Obviously, they are not free, either. We need skilled workers, and highly educated professionals- this is crucial to our town’s survival!

To conclude, I would like to invite community members in to visit our schools. I can promise that you will leave feeling tired, but hopeful. You will see the glimmer of a positive future in our students’ eyes.

Sincerely,

Carolyn Whalen

Sandpoint

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