Letter to the Editor: Chris Higgins

Borough resident offers a counterpoint to earlier missive on school board and curriculum questions.

Dear Mr. Weidenbacher,

I read your letter of July 19 with great interest. You never explicitly explain what is bothering you about the Haddonfield school curriculum, the changes in our town you perceive stemming from the teachings of the Haddonfield schools, or exactly what alternate viewpoints you would like taught in the Haddonfield schools. 

I surmise from your mention of the junior class gift to Black Lives Matter (BLM) that you perceive the gift as the thin edge of the wedge.

You ask if what is being taught in the schools is “at odds with our own values?” The state’s social studies curriculum standards stipulate teaching of different viewpoints, critical thinking, and citizenship. Students are taught to examine primary sources, multiple relevant historical resources, and viewpoints, and are taught facts of the history of our country. Sometimes history teaches us that we have far to go to make a more perfect union. I would hope that “our own values” would be in line with that reasonable curriculum.

What do you mean by alternative points of view? Is the webpage you suggested a sampling? Anything that even attempts to tell a truth about the experience of African American points of view is labeled as critical race theory and dismissed there.

Are you suggesting other popular alternative points of view should be part of the curriculum? Trump’s lies about the stolen election? Anti-vaccination lies? Trump’s lies about Jan. 6 protesters greeted with hugs from the capitol police? Fiction should be taught?

You say the curriculum needs to be unshrouded, lesson plans to be published, and classroom cameras should be installed. The curriculum is a public document and not a secret. Parents are also able to ask questions and attend school board meetings. Enjoy reading lesson plans. Teachers don’t even like to read lesson plans. Cameras in the classroom brings up a host of safety and privacy issues. Who will have access to view the cameras? What happens if the technology is compromised? Cost?

Last, you mention that a serious candidate will bring “improvements to our schools.” What improvement will this “serious candidate” make with alternative facts and manufactured fears masquerading as diversity of opinion? No improvement. We would be the laughingstock of New Jersey.

I encourage everyone to reject any candidate with a platform of alternative facts and fear.

Our town and our precious children deserve better.

Chris Higgins

Haddonfield, N.J.