This past year, schools have been ground zero for America's culture wars. My latest piece in EdSurge (~5 min. read) talks about what that has looked like in the Commonwealth of Virginia. What's happening there is happening everywhere.
School board meetings are hostile, and superintendents have gotten death threats. Parents have dropped their children off and driven away in tears. Others have pulled their kids out of school entirely. Teachers who have always shared lessons and gossip now don't talk to each other. So many educators have thought about quitting.
Things are not ok.
We can't keep moving forward like this. Broken trust and fundamental disagreements about truth have led to a deep fracturing in our schools, and between educators and families.
As with an unhealthy marriage or painful divorce, our kids are the ones suffering from this. The trauma they have endured these past two years has not resolved itself yet. Everything is now compounded and more complicated for kids who were already facing hard things before the pandemic.
To learn and live the lives they deserve, our kids must heal. Our schools must recover. And we must figure out a way to come together to move forward. Doing this does not mean we give up on the hard work of addressing divisive issues like racism and white supremacy. It does mean that we need some mediation, reconciliation, and a willingness to join forces to support our kids' long-Covid recovery.