Recently in both print and digital media there have been discussions of the “systemic racism” in Coronado schools. While it is centered around the abstract of “white privilege” it is clear from the voices being raised that our schools can do better in welcoming students who are “other than white.”

From the perspective of a parent of two Coronado High School (CHS) grads and a former teacher it is my belief that every child at CHS is privileged. We are blessed with a talented leaders and teachers, safe campuses and a community that is generally welcoming to all our students. That doesn’t mean there aren’t problems, but the district has long been committed to character education that includes treating all persons fairly. I saw that in action as a teacher; my proudest memories in NJROTC are of the way my students embraced others who “weren’t like them,” including ethnic and racial differences, and physical or mental disabilities. I saw that not only in my students but throughout the student body. Everyone was an Islander first.

I suspect some students were the target of unkind words, junior and senior high students can be exceptionally cruel. If you don’t remember being the target of attacks based upon an immutable characteristic during your school years, chances are you were the bully or mean girl.

I grieve for any Coronado student who was belittled in any way, but let’s not condemn our schools as irredeemably racist. Let’s take Superintendent Mueller at his word, we will do better.

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