Bellingham Public Schools and the case for fostering citizenship, not individualism

Crosscut

The Bellingham Public Schools system recently amended its guiding document, the Bellingham Promise, by removing the word “citizen” and replacing it with “individual.” No longer do the public schools aspire to foster “honest and ethical citizens who act with integrity” because, in the words of Superintendent Greg Baker, “We heard concerns from our community that the word ‘citizens’ could be misinterpreted, and that some may think we are excluding students and members of our community who are not U.S. citizens.” From my perspective, however, removing the word “citizen” is an abdication of the public school system’s responsibility to the people of Washington and the United States: to prepare young people to be part of our democracy.

column by WWU's Johann Neem

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Monday, October 7, 2019 - 11:21am

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