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Two Views: Penacook discrimination lesson draws debate

A valuable project

Re “Inappropriate lesson plan” (Monitor letter, Jan. 2):

Wow! What an opportunity missed! Jeanine Boulton does not want her child to be subjected to discrimination because it is going too far.

In 1972, my second-grade teacher used this same lesson. We were told that blue-eyed students were superior. If they wanted to play on the swings and a brown-eyed student was waiting, too bad. The blue-eyed students got what they wanted. If they wanted to treat brown-eyed students poorly, oh well, the blue eyes ruled. This of course gave the blue eyes the feeling of power and made the brown eyes very frustrated.

The next day our teacher told us there was a mistake and that indeed, the brown-eyed students were superior. You should have seen the looks on the blue-eyed students when they realized the tables were going to turn. Some brown eyes sought revenge, while others couldn’t go through with it because they experienced how it felt to be discriminated against. After recess, we had a long class discussion about our feelings on both days.

This is a lesson I have never forgotten. In 1972, it may have been more about skin color, but today there are so many prejudices. Gays, obese people, religions, to name a few. This lesson is so needed today to teach tolerance and acceptance. You may discuss the theory all you want, but there is nothing like the feeling you got when you experienced discrimination first hand.

I hope Penacook Elementary School will go forward with this lesson.

PAM WASHBURN

Tilton

Controversial program

Re “Inappropriate lesson plan” (Monitor letter, Jan. 2):

This type of lesson is a glaring example of what is wrong with the International Baccalaureate program in the Merrimack Valley School District.

This example isn’t only in the Penacook school; it is, in fact, district-wide.

The IB program is controversial wherever it is implemented.

Some of the more common reasons are: limited real educational value, teaching a world view rather than an American view, questionable methods and the program’s expense.

I would be happy to talk with any parent who has concerns about IB.

BILL MURPHY

Boscawen

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