Wednesday, September 22, 2021


The Opposite of Indoctrination

I was so encouraged to read at about the possible formation of a human rights commission in Clinton [“Clinton Council to Consider Human Rights Commission,” June 15]and about all the diversity, equity, and inclusion work being done in the Guilford public schools [“Guilford BOE Approves Statement in Support of Equity Initiatives,” May 5]. These are significant first steps in achieving the social justice that so many of us aspire to in our society. I hope that other towns in our shoreline community are inspired by the potential here and take their own first steps in this direction.

I am also aware of the push back from individuals who try to demonize this work as “indoctrination” and “un-American.” As a retired educator, I can attest to the fact that the inquiry-based approach to learning being used in Guilford is the very opposite of indoctrination. And if we define American ideals as those that engender equality, fairness, and democratic processes, then I can reassure the skeptics that both Clinton and Guilford are doing work that is quintessentially American.

I am grateful for the initiative that these towns are taking. Let’s support them in every possible way.

Hugh Birdsall