After reading your front-page article “March Against Racism in the Coronado Schools,” I feel compelled to add to your story. The community needs to know that (Coronado Unified School District) CUSD teachers and staff do their best to embrace diversity and address any type of bullying.
I was the first-grade teacher for the daughter of Anne Edwardson who had been taunted for weeks. There is more to this story. Mrs. Edwardson came to me sharing her daughter’s story. As soon as I was aware of the problem I and the school counselor, along with Anne, took action. Immediately, I had a class meeting with my students about the problem. Because the child who was taunting her was not in our room, the counselor also had class meetings with all of the other first-grade classrooms. We followed up with character count meetings, role-playing, stories, always emphasizing the Golden Rule. We don’t only recite it, we are held accountable to live it.
Furthermore, please know we do “Teach My Culture” and provide “Improvement Through Education” in Coronado. I can speak for the first-grade curriculum. The students have a one-week unit on Harriett Tubman, as well as on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and Ruby Bridges. These lessons all included discussions and writings on justice and fairness. Our classroom libraries and read alouds represent a diverse collection of many cultures. Parents are also welcomed to read and share a story to further educate the students about their family’s culture, as Anne had done that year. Education is a key factor in creating a world where people not only accept each other’s cultures but can appreciate their riches.
In addition, the article mentioned the Edwardson’s daughters have attended Coronado schools since preschool. It didn’t mention how Anne transferred her daughters to a San Diego U.S.D. school which had a fine reputation for cultivating a culture of diversity. In May of the girls’ first-grade classes, they transferred to this school. I was disappointed to see her daughter leave but understood Anne’s needs for her daughters. She was thoughtfully providing her children with what she felt they needed. I was just as pleased when I saw the twins had returned to Village in third grade, this year. I never had a conversation with Anne about her reasons for returning to Village, but I was happy to see them all back on campus.
In closing, please know the educators in CUSD care about all students’ academic and social education. We aren’t perfect, but we honestly give our best each day. One quote stood out, “Talk to your children about racism. If it’s not happening in the schools, please do it at home.” Parents, you are the most influential teachers your children will have. What you say and do will have a stronger impact on your child’s development than what I, the teacher, would say or do. May this village continue to work together proving all lives matter.