Editor’s note: Charleston City Paper publishes letters received each week on Saturdays. To submit your own reaction to City Paper coverage or local issues, we welcome letters to the editor.
I found Christopher Briggman’s response to the assault on the city of Charleston’s beloved Quintin Washington both insightful and at the same time unsettling. Of course, it is always important to see the bigger picture, to reflect on the why of tragedies. And in this case altercations, criminal events. Yet, in doing so, we must tread carefully – because the line between honestly exploring how events escalate and occur and victim shaming and blaming is perilously close.
And here is my point. Justice must always be served. And yes, those accused of, charged, and convicted of crime deserve due process of law. Yet, in the very moment one is being attacked, assaulted, robbed, or being burned out of a business or home – our response should be one of resounding mercy and protection. Yet, this is not the case.
Yet we forget this very simple fact: Trauma upon trauma heals no one. And violence heals no one. And attacking our brothers and sisters heals no one. And until we can resoundingly agree that there are both right and wrong ways to live and to treat each other – then we will as evidenced by Christopher Briggman’s words, always slide on the very slippery slope of moral ambiguity.
Another School Option
Charleston’s parents of school-age children are in a difficult situation right now with all the uncertainties around the re-opening of schools. Many parents are concerned that students and staff may be at risk if schools are fully opened, but may also not be entirely happy with the concept of virtual learning or traditional homeschooling either. But there is another option, called unschooling — a form of homeschooling which is basically child-led learning.
My own children followed this model for most of their childhood, before going on to college. My kids had no textbooks, no homework, no tests or grades (unless they asked for them). Instead, they lived their lives, reading library books that interested them instead of assigned titles, playing with friends, finding volunteer and paid jobs, traveling, and exploring the world around them. My children had time to explore their interests, which then led them to satisfying careers — one is now a librarian and the other a paramedic. To better understand this option, you can check out my Charleston TEDx talk called Skipping School on YouTube, and take a look at Unschooling groups on Facebook.
Lua Martin Wells
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