Michael Waxman’s letter last week seems to imply that our schools should only focus on getting our students into good schools and not worrying about their moral and civic development. I find this a complete antithesis of how I view education.
In the classroom, while reading “The Great Gastby,” we talk about the danger of unbridled greed; while reading “The Grapes of Wrath,” we talk about the importance of a social network that takes care of our citizens; while reading “The Things They Carried,” we talk about the enormous physical and emotional weight our armed service members carry and the need to have respect for what they give up.
In the hallways, on the athletic fields, and yes, off school grounds, educators need to remind students of how important their behavior is, not just as a reflection of their particular school, but more importantly, as a reflection of themselves. When I see our basketball players reach down to help an opposing player from the floor, I feel quite sure that the coaches have stressed the importance of good sportsmanship. When I see the many hours of public service our students serve both in the state and outside of the state, I know they understand the importance of giving. On the other hand, when our students use their Facebook pages to post derogatory comments about teachers or pictures of themselves under the influence of drugs or alcohol, I wonder if they realize the message they are sending.
Falmouth High School