LETTER: Wildflower comments offensive

I was shocked, offended and appalled to read some of the Wildflower parents’ comments.

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I was shocked, offended and appalled to read about some of the parents’ comments about their objection regarding the combining of the Wildflower students with the K to 7 students from  Rosemont and South Nelson, into the Central School.

(First, I want to be clear that I know that not all people with children in the Wildflower program share the same sentiments.)

The quotes by some parents in the article mention that Wildflower is a “very intentional community and we’re very different and need to honour the children,” and that they have concerns of sharing the Central building with a student population that “has incompatible curriculums and different rules” and that adding a new population to Central will “undermine the credibility of Wildflower.”

So let me get this straight: because they are different means that they should not interact with people of differing idea or cultures — how are they very different? I would like it explained very clearly. Are the different curriculums going to bleed into their classroom from the “undermining” curriculum of the other classrooms?

Are they afraid that my seven year old is going to tell the Wildflower children the latest he’s heard of Ernie the Otter, because their Otter is named Fred, or maybe because he’ll haul a blackboard outside during recess and use the wrong coloured chalk and teach the Wildflower Children that 2+2=4, because maybe the Wildflower curriculum has a different answer, or maybe he may teach them a new word in Italian?

And I would like a clear explanation with statistical backing from the Wildflower group on how exactly is my seven year old son and other children from South Nelson and Rosemont going to “undermine the credibility of Wildflower”? Are they going to teach them to be rude, obnoxious, nasty, or is just associating with these “undermining” kids going to lower the IQ of the Wildflower kids, maybe by osmosis?

The Wildflower website uses all the correct jargon and doublespeak of “valuing community,” “cooperative learning,” “social justice” and “honour(ing) individual differences.” Based on the comments at the meeting, it seems that these folks have in themselves undermined the credibility of Wildflower by disregarding exactly what they pretend to stand for. There is no honouring children with this attitude.

To me, this reminds me of what I’ve read of the school segregation issues in the southern United States that has torn that community apart-one group believed they were different and better and needed to be separated from those who were “different.” It pains me to think that all the work people like Rosa Park, Ruby Bridges, Mandela and King did may be in vain over 50 years later. Are we regressing?

I grew up and went to inner-city schools in downtown Toronto where there was such a richness of  diversity, ethnicity, colour, language, class and  ideas from all over the world that I would not give that up for any so-called “elite” private school on this planet.

Diversity and differences give us strength, new ideas and a richness of life that we all benefit from, and this occurs when we associate and interact with people of differing ideas and social backgrounds, even if we don’t agree with those ideas. When we isolate ourselves we shrivel, wither and fall into the trap that Donald Trump is trying to lead the US into.

If the Wildflower groups feels they need to segregate themselves from the rest of theunderminingstudent body in Nelson, they are welcome to do so, but not with my tax dollars. They can go get private funding from like-minded individuals and dig deep into their own pockets and do as they wish.

Olindo Romeo Chiocca, Nelson

 

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