Letter To The Editor: Remaining grounded in measurable facts
An Open Letter to the Central Valley School District Board of Directors,
Faith Leaders and Leaders of Conscience of Eastern Washington and North Idaho continue to be concerned about the pressure you are receiving from people who are pushing misinformed agendas.
We fully support the board in remaining grounded in measurable facts not fear.
We fully support the board in following WA Department of Health COVID recommendations, and being willing to adjust your response when there is new scientific information. It is a hallmark of education that we make new decisions when we have additional factual information.
We fully support the board in following the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) guidelines and offering students medically accurate sexual health education. The fear around this issue has missed the reality that our children are on the internet and getting information that is not age appropriate or even factual. In contrast, age appropriate, scientifically based education on their relationships and their rights to their own bodies is a necessary counter measure.
We fully support the board in complying with the OSPI standards related to equality. Following Washington state law means that there is to be no discrimination in public schools.
We fully support the board in teaching history factually and honestly. Teachers can tell the truth about when our country lived up to our ideals of liberty and justice for all and when we have fallen short. We can speak truthfully about our historic harms to Indigenous people, Blacks, Latinx, differently abled people, women, and LGBTQ+ people. We can also celebrate their amazing contributions to our American Dream.
Please, continue to let verifiable facts be your guide. Continue protecting the health and safety of the students as well as the teachers and staff. Continue to use the best factual information available and when there is new factual information, make new responsible changes.
- The Rev Gen Heywood, Convener of Faith Leaders and Leaders of Conscience of Eastern Washington and North Idaho
- Rev. Rick Matters, Spokane, WA
- Lynne deLaubenfels, Spokane Valley, WA
- Rev. Kaye Hult, Post Falls, ID
- Linda Ball, Liberty Lake, WA
- William Aal, Spokane Valley, WA
- Rev. Jeannette Solimine, UCC, Colfax, WA
- April May, Spokane, WA
- Sr. Pat Millen, OSF, Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia
- Rev. Debra L. Conklin, UMC, Spokane, WA
- Patrick T. McCormick, Spokane WA
- Dr. Pam Silverstein, Spokane, WA
- Joan Broeckling, One Peace, Many Paths, Spokane Valley, WA
- Petra Hoy, Greenacres, WA
- Rev. Andy CastroLang, Spokane WA
- Charity Doyl, Spokane Valley, WA
- Joan Berkowitz, Geenacres, WA
- Quan Yin, Lynne H. Williams MD, Spokane, WA
Rev. Gen Heywood has been active in parish ministry for more than 30 years. From small towns to big cities, she always lets the needs of the community and the congregation be her guide. Gen credits the supportive leadership of Veradale United Church of Christ for including her work to overcome racism, poverty, the war economy, and ecological devastation as part of her ministry. “Veradale UCC is a small church with a powerful faith. They are the reason I can be a witness for a world where we do justice, live with compassion, and walk humbly with the Divine.”
Gen grow up in rural Maine. She received a BA in Music Therapy and German from Emmanuel College in Boston, MA and her M.Div. from Andover Newton Theological School in Newton, MA. She is a life long learner who lives in Spokane Valley, WA with her three dogs as well as, sometimes, with her amazing young adult children.