Letter: Critical thinking or group-think?

To the Editor:

One of the claims made by our excellent school system in Ridgefield is that critical thinking is emphasized. The recent walk-out to protest “gun violence” by calling for the banning of guns, was not supported by all students. Some teachers at ERMS forced students who tried to stand up for what they believed in, to join the protest anyway or face an extra workload their protesting peers didn’t have to do. The students saw this as punishment for straying from the group-think agenda. Did the principal approve of this bullying? Is the claim of teaching “critical thinking” only so much edu-babble that doesn’t apply when a student disagrees with a teacher’s political agenda?

And just as worrisome, were any teachers who may have had a different opinion on the walkout, also subjected to pressure and bullying?

As a taxpayer, I don’t want my tax dollars spent on pushing political agendas on vulnerable children. Political issues in the classroom should accept all points of view for discussion, with students not even aware of the teacher’s viewpoint.

As a taxpayer, I find it reprehensible to let students out of class to stage a political protest on school grounds. Many taxpayers do not want their tax dollars spent on pushing agendas instead of educating children. Unless, of course, the “education” is teaching kids to become activists for left-wing (or even right-wing) agendas.

The next scheduled protest is April 20. I would hope that students who wish to protest do so on their own time and off of school property.

Linda Lavelle

Aspen Mill Road, April 9