Letter: This is public education

Friday, May 18, 2018

In the fall, Friday night lights will shine in the local stadium. The town will gather, as it always does, with parents, students and fans donning the school colors as their team runs out onto the field, with cheerleaders paving the way. It will be a community event as the town cheers for its team.

Back at the school, children of differing faiths, nationalities, beliefs and points of view will gather in classes to study academic subjects and be challenged not only by their teachers but by other students of various backgrounds who have their own perspective and life experiences to share. Conflicts will arise as various students will attempt to adapt socially to a school in which various groups form around various interests or lifestyles. As these students move through their student life they will be introduced to the vast differences that make up the American culture, and they will become acquainted with and learn how to navigate that culture.

There will be concerts, theater presentations, art displays, bake sales, PTA meetings, classes and exams as students work toward becoming citizens of their town, state and nation.

This is the public school system. It is a centerpiece of every community and open to all children. It’s not perfect, but it has sustained us since the founding of our country.

Thank goodness attempts to undermine it financially through a voucher bill failed. We must always protect this gem as it is one cornerstone of a cohesive and vibrant community.