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Your characterization of Waterloo West High teacher, John Grieder is unfair. If I was still teaching, I’m certain you would criticize me in a similar way. I guess I would have to take your description of me as a “rabid leftist.” Better than being a rabid moron who subscribes to the nonsense you publish in pages ironically called, The Standard. If this is a standard, the bar has been set imperceptibly low.

***Get to know Grieder: Calls Trump a racist, bigot. Refers to Gov. Reynolds as COVID Kim and calls Sen. Joni Ernst a thief.***

After the Virginia Tech shootings, I too, used that current event, that teachable moment to examine the Second Amendment. I considered it fair game in an American history class to read it and analyze its words. Of course, the words “well-regulated militia” are usually glossed over by gun rights supporters. Or perhaps, you would describe the January 6 mob as well-regulated. Those white supremacists were not well, but they appeared dangerously regulated by disciples of their autocratic hero, if not the would-be autocrat himself. Regardless, a discussion on disputing points of view is a credible teaching exercise. One unlikely to occur in a charter school that wears its conservative values on its proverbial sleeve. And you worry about indoctrination from the left!

***Examples of Grieder’s radical Leftism: Calling legislation that says biological girls should be the only participants in female sports ‘hateful’ and much more!***

Mr. Grieder is correct when he says Black history is American history. Most students and adults I’ve encountered are pitifully ignorant of both. If I was teaching, I would teach The 1619 Project alongside the proposed legislation to censor it. That would be a legitimate educational exercise, unlikely to occur in the bubble that is a charter school, especially a “religious” one.

***Mr. Grieder calls Trump Administration ‘liars, thugs’ for enforcing immigration policy, keeping country safe.***

I’ve read and listened to The Project. It is NOT riddled with errors. It may conflict, however, with the mythological, rah-rah, American exceptionalism you and your readers must prefer. You and your ignorant ilk have gotten this old retired American history teacher riled up. The rabid right’s attempt to censor the truth because it doesn’t fit their privileged, fragile narrative is a fight worth having. Your side cannot rely on the likes of your publication or Fox News to present credible alternative versions of history.

***Never let a crisis go to waste. Grieder tweets about talking to his students about ‘terrorism’ brought about by guns.***

As a wise Nigerian, China Achebe once said, “Until the lions have their own historian, the history of the hunt will always glorify the hunter.” Nikole Hannah-Jones and others are merely trying to represent the lion. The privileged white male version of U.S. History has NEVER lacked for space in America’s textbooks, classrooms, or collective understandings. It sadly never will due to misguided efforts such as yours.

I’m glad to be retired so as not to have to deal with the uniformed likes of you, Sklyer Wheeler, et. al. Thanks to your piece, however, I will be extending my support to Mr. Grieder and other brave educators willing to stand up to right-wing propaganda and attempts to ban truth-telling in school.

  • Dennis McCabe
    Waterloo