To the Editor:

Vermont’s legislative social equity caucus encourages Vermonters to challenge a growing narrative coming from outside of our borders that is deliberately using fear and division to threaten our world-class education system. Teachers and school board members are being harassed at their homes and at district meetings as they work to support student health, well-being and societal understanding.

As our educators engage students in conversations about addressing institutionalized and systemic racism in Vermont, there is a growing national movement gaining ground in Vermont that seeks to install an outdated and dishonest version of history in its place.

We are developing the strength and muscle as a people to learn from our past, to listen and tell stories that are as diverse as our nation’s origins and to use that knowledge to build a future in Vermont that is based in equity and inclusivity.

This is a moment of great opportunity for our state and nation, to learn and create a better future. We cannot stay oblivious to the facts of the past and deny that history if we hope to learn from it and attract more people to move here in an increasingly diverse, multicultural democracy.

The caucus supports the teaching of uncensored U.S. history, and believes our youth deserve the opportunity to honestly reflect and build authentic connections to one another. We also trust and support educators and administrators to build a culture of inclusion and introspection as they build a safe learning environment for all students.

We commit to hold up the Vermont values of community and civility. With pride, we are working together for a better Vermont. We are committed to open, civil debate with a respectful tone as a paramount value and priority.

We ask Vermonters to join us in affirming support of teaching history and all subjects with honesty and integrity. We continue to grow and strengthen our democracy and our state by doing so. Our children deserve no less.

Sen. Kesha Ram Hinsdale

Rep. Kevin Christie

Hinsdale is a Democratic senator from Chittenden County. Christie serves the Windsor-4-2 district as a Democrat.

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