Civil resolution of controversial, and at times emotionally charged, issues has been the saving grace of the American form of self government. Yet when we fail to either teach or practice these principles, we put our Democracy at risk. At the ACPL our mission is to promote civic engagement through civil disclosure. We take pride in sharing with our readers articles from various authors who subscribe to the tenets of our core mission.
The following excerpt was taken from an article written by Linda K. Wertheimer on The Boston Globe:
“It’s early September at Newton’s Bigelow Middle School, and a class of eighth-graders watch as the teacher sticks a blue slip of paper on a bulletin board. On the paper is the word “democracy.” The teacher, Andrew Swan, turns to them and asks, “What’s the opposite of democracy? What does it look like?”
The students stare at him — their silence gets awkward. A girl finally raises her hand and says: “Republican.”
Swan shakes his head, and the girl and some classmates break into giggles. Swan smiles gently. He asks “What are you thinking of? Political parties?” The girl nods.
“This is democracy with a lowercase d,” Swan explains, in a classroom with posters on the back wall headlined “Periodic Table of the Constitution” and “Periodic Table of the Amendments.” It’s early in the semester, and there is a lot of ground to cover.”