Greetings, and happy fall everyone. Hopefully you all got your fill of BJ’s corn this summer and are now stocking up on apples and cider.
This week I put pen to paper to discuss a recent story of ours which has garnered quite a bit of attention, both positive and negative.
In addition to the 10,500 copies of Saratoga TODAY which hit the street last week, the story was also read 6,000 times on our website and 13,000 times on Facebook.
For those of you not familiar with the front page piece, it focused on a controversial Saratoga Springs High School Assembly. Rather than rehash the meat of the story which you are all free to read, I want to address a few of the criticisms.
My reporter, Lori Mahan, reached out to the school district for comment. Our policy is always to reach out to both sides involved. However, a lack of response from one side certainly is not going to prevent us from running a story. Our job as a local paper is to cover the mundane and the controversial. This story touched on politics, race and education, three hot button topics in today’s world.
What I find so disturbing is how two groups of people can look at the same situation and hold COMPLETELY different views. It seems as though the political gap in this country is widening and the common ground is slowly being eroded.
So what questions need to be examined in this particular case?
For starters, is high school the correct medium to promote critical thinking if it has a political agenda? As most high school students are still minors, I feel that job falls under the authority of their parents. However, if there is to be critical thinking on a controversial subject, it is incumbent on the administration to assure that both sides are clearly and evenly presented. It is not the job of the school system to indoctrinate our youth and raise our children.
Now for the ironic juxtaposition: Critical thinking at the college level should be encouraged, yet speakers are regularly being protested and shut down at universities across the nation because it doesn’t fit certain agendas. Simultaneously, historical statues are being removed at a record pace around the country.
History should not be whitewashed or blackwashed. History is what it is, and those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
If the national media didn’t spend so much time on this hateful sensationalism, perhaps we could all focus on the good in people and society. But, once again, there is a political agenda at play here and we are all the pawns. If they focus the majority of their coverage on the ignorant bottom feeders both on the right and left such the white supremacists or Antifa, they can keep us divided and voting along certain political lines.
I am here to say that the racist white supremacists no more represent your Republican neighbor any more than Antifa terrorists represent your Democratic neighbor. Those hate filled groups are a microscopically small percentage of our great nation and not representative of the wonderful men and women who go to work every day, and raise families, and volunteer, and run towards danger so we can sleep soundly.
Now back to the topic at hand. I don’t believe for a moment that there wasn’t a political motive behind the SSHS assembly speaker.
I have known some incredible educators over the course of my life and I thank every one of them for going above and beyond to help this simple Jersey boy make it through high school and college.
But shame on the educators or administrators who allow any one-sided political or religious indoctrination to take place on our tax dollars.