Dear School Committee and the general LPS Community,
LPS students and graduates wish to extend our support for the Serious Talks curriculum as it currently exists. This curriculum is not only beneficial to our students and our community, but works toward Lexington’s goals of diversity, equity, and inclusion within our school system.
While a petition to remove Serious Talks suggests that the curriculum is indoctrinating children and exposing them to adult subject matter, in truth, the Serious Talks curriculum introduces concepts like “skin color, culture, religion, disability, and gender identity… in age appropriate ways… designed to meet our students’ social-emotional learning needs.” Children learn about these concepts as they pertain to them and their classmates, not as complex social issues, nor with any explicit content. This curriculum doesn’t seek to sway children to a certain ideology, but rather teaches open-mindedness and respect, values that LPS is proud to foster. As a result, we’ve seen our community become a place for meaningful discussions, open mindedness, and diversity. Additionally, we as students know that we experience better and more well-rounded learning when we learn in environments that give us the tools to think critically, and reflect on the world around us.
Far from being cloaked or concealed, descriptions and goals of the Serious Talks curriculum are available to parents through the bi-weekly Superintendent Reports. Our town openly values diversity and open-mindedness, and these values are explicitly nurtured in our public schools. Parents who wish to teach their kids differing values are aware of what they are taught in public schools and can educate them differently at home. Blocking out important social issues such as queerness and identity doesn’t prevent people from having said identities. Additionally, queer students can find comfort in the representation and acknowledgement of stories like theirs, and can gain a beneficial understanding of their own identities. For these reasons, we believe that reducing the Serious Talks curriculum would be a disservice to our community.
We see this attack on the Serious Talks curriculum as not only an attack on the curriculum itself, but as an attack on the idea of teaching diversity and kindness in our schools. As community members that value compassion and inclusivity, we won’t stand for this.
We are proud to stand with Dr. Hackett, the school committee, and the LEA in affirming the Serious Talks curriculum.
Written by Anjali Agarwal, Gabriel Savir, and Nathaniel Dvorkin
Signed by over 150+ LPS students and former students