I hope that the school board and curriculum developer(s) rely on facts and not necessarily on belief systems in addressing concerns about the new social studies standards that are being developed.

I recognize that I, too, have belief systems involved in my reaction to this ongoing debate. I believe that diversity is a benefit to our country. I believe that all citizens’ voices should be heard to increase our understanding of our history. That includes Native and black people's voices regarding their experiences.

On the other hand, it is a fact that their experiences in this country are a part of history. It is my belief that students are better prepared for life in knowing as full a range of historical fact as feasible.

Regarding the new standards, it is a fact that they are not recommending the inclusion of Critical Race Theory, which is something only discussed at the college level. It is also a fact that the new standards are not destroying the old. Teachers will still be teaching students about George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.

I suspect most people are capable of distinguishing between fact and belief if they choose to explore their own reactions, and I hope that we all try to do that better. In the process we can help students think critically.