To The Editor:
In response to the opinion pieces “More Harwood Hypocrisy” and “Response to More Harwood Hypocrisy,” we’d like to offer our views on the way this matter was approached.
At Harwood, the saying “Give Respect, Get Respect” is written on the mirror in the front entrance. This is the first impression given to any person entering the school. This is expected to be a common value among the Harwood community, but when a leader uses their freedom of speech to attack an individual, this promotes the idea that the student body can do the same.
In the last few weeks, two leaders in our Harwood community have brought concerns around an important religious topic to the public. It is unacceptable to schedule school events on any significant religious holiday, but it is also unacceptable to single out certain members in the community and call them out publicly without warning. Although these are valid arguments, the way it was approached was inappropriate. No problem can be solved through public negativity.
Maturity is shown by responding to an issue by acknowledging and appreciating the other party’s perspective. When our leaders cannot actively display this level of respect, it not only embarrasses them, but it relays the wrong message to all members of the Harwood community.
As students, we are impressionable. We look up to our faculty and coaches to show us the power of civil discourse. In our classrooms, we are consistently practicing methods of engaging in meaningful and respectful dialogue. Yet, when our esteemed leaders do not display the same level of respect that we are constantly encouraged to practice, it takes away from the power of these values.
It is discouraging to see that sophisticated communication is not always applied outside of the classrooms of Harwood. We hope that the leaders of our school acknowledge the significance of civil discourse in our society.
Amelia Allen, Warren, Vermont
Riley Gallagher, Waterbury Center, Vermont
Harwood Union seniors