Students keep social distance as they walk to their classroom in Highwood, Ill., part of the North Shore school district. I Credit: Nam Y. Huh / AP

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Maine is not immune to the effort to silence discussion of racism. School boards all over the state are hearing from those who would do so. I believe these individuals fail to see that efforts to silence discussion of racism as a part of America’s history are themselves racist.

If allowed to prevail, what are we really teaching our students? That we can’t talk about racism. It is that simple. We will be teaching our children that the subject is taboo (nice people don’t talk about racism) and every taboo subject in our society throughout our history has been grounded in oppression. We need to talk about racism. If we fail to do so we are guilty of perpetuating a culture that allows racism to continue. But right now teachers are afraid to do so because it might result in having to face some angry parents.

Well, the solution to that is to create policy that directs those parents to school administrators who are in a much better position to confront those who would attempt to suppress the truth. Black History Month starts in a few days. Are we going to tell the true story of Black history in America? Or are we going to whitewash it? I hope educators have the courage to stand against those who would try to do so. I will stand with them.

Mary Anne Royal