Not that far apart

To the editor:

I am a 74-year-old ex-teacher and 45-year resident of Kiel. I would like to comment on the current fiasco happening in our school and community.

I feel the main problem is and always has been a lack of communication. The second issue is the continuing disrespect and distrust of people with differing political ideologies.

This second issue has torn our nation apart the past 10 years. After 74 years of observation, I see 15 percent of the population are Trump conservatives and 15 percent of the population are Obama liberals—both very radical. That leaves 70 percent of the rest of us somewhere in the middle from moderate conservative to moderate liberals. I feel that the last 10 years the radicals on either end of the spectrum have been in control. The tail has been wagging the dog. All we hear from media is the radical views from the ends of the political spectrum. The 70 percent in the middle really just want life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness! Those of us in the middle percent simply need to communicate our differences and will realize we are not far apart in our needs, beliefs and desires.

This brings me to the crux of our current problem—communication or lack of it. Think back to when we were young and when our parents were young. There has always been racism, sexism and bullying. We have all seen its ugliness; some of us may have participated in it. As long as there are fallible humans there will be racism, sexism and bullying! It is the hope of the 70 percent that these diseases of society be healed! In a perfect world, this would start in the home. Since this doesn’t always happen, it becomes part of the schools’ job. As a teacher of 41 years, I have fought these diseases and attempted to educate students about these ills.

I signed the petition regarding CRT. After researching, I felt the material being taught came from the radical 30 percent. All I want is to have our schools fight racism, bullying and sexism! I truly believe that 70 percent of our community feels the same way. I don’t want the radical right or radical left to spew hatred through our schools and to our children!

The Kiel school system has been doing a remarkable job over the years in educating our children and preparing them to be contributing, law-abiding members of society. The board, administration and teachers have been fighting staggering odds which include financial issues, political issues and social issues. It is often a thankless job. But I want the people working in our schools to know that the 70 percent appreciate your efforts and truly support you.

Unfortunately, even after several meetings including the annual meeting where everything was to be “aired out” there is still a huge misunderstanding concerning community groups and school personnel. Most of us are members of the 70 percent. We are not far apart in our beliefs. We just need to stop building walls and start communicating!

Please don’t burn my house for having an opinion. My cardiologist doesn’t want me climbing ladders which would be necessary to rebuild.

Jerry Kiel


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