I recently received a flier in the mail from a Goleta Union School District Trustee candidate that I found extremely disturbing.
In her flier Caroline Abate not so subtly blames education in racial and sexual diversity for harming the mental health of children. She further implies that it leads to behavior that threatens school and public safety. She implies that they are the cause for teen suicide, school fights, bullying and vandalism. She also uses some key terms that would imply that racial diversity is not welcome, like the term “patriotic unity.” In her letter she also attempts to think for the reader, implying that certain concepts are common knowledge.
I would contend that teaching people about diversity helps eliminate these very elements she is choosing to blame behaviors on. Understanding our differences makes it easier to come together as a community, and have appreciation for each other. Trying to deny the existence of a large portion of our community does not prepare our kids for the real world. It impairs their ability to navigate our society with understanding and empathy.
So, sorry Caroline Abate, I will not be voting for you, and your close-minded view of our diverse, rich, beautiful community here in Goleta.