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Do not end the discussion of police brutality in African American Studies class at ELHS.

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If we want to raise our children to be compassionate people who participate as responsible citizens in a democracy, we need to find ways to talk with them about the thorny issues that we struggle with as a country. Race, violence, systems of oppression, and African American history are a few of those issues. I don't think there is ever one conversation about such a big issue; I think we need to talk repeatedly about these tough issues on an ongoing basis. Because we as americans struggle with these issues, we will often find ourselves struggling to know how to talk to children about them. But that doesn't mean we don't have a responsibility to do so.

In our town of East Longmeadow we have a class at the high school "African American Studies" that approaches these issues, with the view of teaching kids how to think and not what to think, through open dialogue and honest conversation students learn from one another. Earlier in the week our African American studies class started our unit on police brutality. Due to backlash from the students and parents the unit has been removed by the teachers discretion. It is heartbreaking that this is a conversation we will no longer be able to have in the ideal setting to do so.

Suburban families often ignore the issue of racism because it makes us uncomfortable, and because we assume that it doesn't affect our children. We can only end racism by talking with all of our children about these topics that make us all uncomfortable.

Please sign this petition to show support for the importance of talking to our students about police brutality and how to progress into better policing practices and methods, by bringing back the unit.

Please do not allow the conversation to end here.

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