LETTER: To not know history is to not learn its lessons and possibly repeat it.

Submitted by Monica Prihoda, Old Greenwich

While I serve on the RTM Old Greenwich District 6 the opinion expressed here is my own:

Thank your for your article on last night’s Board of Education meeting.

I never learned about Critical Race Theory until recently. I never learned about the Tulsa Oklahoma massacre until recently. I never learned that all slaves were not emancipated on the same day but finally on June 19, 1865. I never learned that President Lincoln’s Republican Party of 1865 was more akin to to the principles of today’s Democratic Party. I learned this afterwards, out of the classroom through reading, discerning – thankful for the critical thinking I learned in school.

I did learn about the Nazis – the destruction and oppression of innocent lives in countries beyond their borders. Included in that destruction and altering of lives were true American patriots who fought so valiantly against evil and the families who suffered while supporting them.

To not know history is to not learn the lessons from it and possibly repeat it. History provides a way to look in the rear view mirror and with that knowledge move forward on a better path.

In addition to basics of reading, writing, grammar and math, teaching critical thinking of concepts and ideas is crucial to one’s worldview.  Critical thinking – not to be confused by some as CRT – is key to deciphering all the world exposes us to as we make our way through life. It does not threaten, but rather broadens our perspective in which we can form our own opinions.

The signs posted by the self-proclaimed “Greenwich Patriots” evoke the very political thinking and furthering of divisiveness they purport to condemn.

Teaching is one of the noblest professions. I believe when Superintendent of Greenwich Schools Dr. Jones, hired by us in the Town of Greenwich, and the Board of Education Chair Bernstein, elected by us, clearly state Critical Race Theory is not in the curriculum but that inclusion and diversity are.

To me, understanding cultural differences among people in our “melting pot” of nationalities and accepting the rich, diverse views and talents they bring to this country enhances all of us and equips the next generation for the world in which they live.

This is the preparation I look to in our teachers – to bring light to the world – the world we share together.

Monica Prihoda