Bring Back S.257

Sent to us from our friend in struggle Wafic Faour

Dear Editor,
Many Vermonters may not know that a recent bill H.794, introduced by the VT Coalition for Ethnic and Social Equity in Schools, passed the House with a resounding majority vote. This bill was written to update Vermont K-12 curriculum and standards to include the narratives and contributions of ethnic and social groups in VT and the US that are currently absent, underrepresented, or misrepresented in our children’s education. The bill appeared in the Senate as S.257 only to be blocked when unrelated elements were added to it after it was introduced.

Ongoing research in Vermont reflects persistent systemic racism in housing, health care, policing and education as well as discrimination against social groups, such as the LGTBQA and disabled communities. The purpose of S.257 is to bring our missing history out of the shadows and our richer, though more complex history, to light. The VT Coalition for Ethnic and Social Equity in Schools is made up of members and supporters of over 30 groups in Vermont, including the ACLU, Migrant Justice, Black Lives Matter and educators who believe that education is essential to creating healthy communities where different perspectives are understood and valued.

Vermont prides itself on independent thinking and has been at the forefront of change at key moments in history. Many of us Vermonters remain unaware of the burden that is carried by our children whose identities do not conform to the narratives that appear in our history books, whose stories and contributions remain untold. We urge our readers to write and call Senator Pro Tempore Tim Ashe (timashe@burlingtontelecom.net/802-318-0903) and Senator Baruth (pbaruth@leg.state.vt.us/802-503-5266) who are legislators with the power to bring S.257 back to the Special Session for a vote this coming week.

Helene Arnold
Wafic Faour
50 Durand Rd.
Richmond, VT 05477
802-310-0212