To borrow the words of James Baldwin, the purpose of education is to “civilize the child,” to teach the child to observe, ask questions of and actively change our society for the better (“A Talk to Teachers,” 1963).
Hence, it is the school’s duty to arm that child with knowledge of our fraught and imperfect history, with the linguistic and practical tools to come to terms with that history, and to participate in the never-ending process of achieving “liberty and justice for all.”
Sixty years after Baldwin delivered his speech, many children continue to be deprived of liberty and justice. Many spend their lives without equal access to food, education, housing, mental and other health care, and in fear of racist, sexist and homophobic violence.
But the current members of the Corvallis School Board who are up for reelection — Sami Al-AbdRabbuh, Luhui Whitebear and Vincent Adams — have begun the difficult and necessary work to create meaningful structural change for our children’s benefit.
Sami, Luhui and Vince have persistently prioritized social justice, health and wellness, and sustainability in the context of real-world learning that has led to the district’s highest-ever graduation rate. Together, they are working to ensure that the basic and scholastic needs of all of our children —regardless of race, gender, sexuality, ability or socioeconomic status — are met.