Letter: Resolution against hate needs classroom component

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In response to the alleged hate crime against Casco Bay High School students, I am very curious as to what the “Condemning violence and hate speech, and expressing support for our Muslim students” resolution is going to entail. I completely agree that violence and hate crimes against Muslims in Portland is an issue, and should be regulated, especially in schools. However, I can’t think of a way to solve this problem that will completely get rid of it, and there may not be one.

Bullying in schools has been fought against for years now, and it is still a big problem. This aggression towards Muslim students is disgusting, but you can’t just tell people to think a different way and expect them to do so. Prejudice will always be present, especially with older public citizens.

This is why I think it is important that this solution is starting with the Portland schools, rather than the public. School is supposed to be a safe, equal place for all students. No child should wake up afraid to go to school to learn. Many children from ages 6-18 see their peers and teachers at school more than they see their parents, especially if they work. High school is a time that many kids change, and so do their values. Students are highly impressionable and malleable in high school, and should be taught about tolerance and peaceful solutions to prejudice at an early age. These values are what should be included in this “resolution” to the hate crimes.

Madeline Winkeler