Letter from Matthew Barry about the Issaquah School District

Dear Editor:

During the Issaquah School District’s recent search for a superintendent, the district held four meetings to get input from parents. One meeting was “for parents of color and parents with students of color.”

The school board explained that “we understand that historically marginalized families may not share honestly or vulnerably about their experiences in our district if they are not surrounded by people that look like them or have a similar lived experience.” The meeting was intended “to create a safe space.”

First, it’s insulting for the board to assume that people of color are so fragile and weak that they need to be surrounded by people who look just like them to feel safe.

Second, the abject stupidity and backwardness of the district’s policy of separating parents into racial groups become apparent when you follow the district’s strategy to its logical conclusion: If marginalized adults need to be surrounded by people who look like them, then surely marginalized children require the same type of segregated safe space. So will the district implement classes just for students of color? How about separate cafeterias? Perhaps just have a separate school for students of color? Because, otherwise, according to the woke folks at the ISD, those students will never be able to feel safe or “share authentically.”

And why didn’t the district have a search meeting just for gay parents? Aren’t they also too fragile and weak to speak up without being surrounded by fellow gay parents? How about a meeting just for Muslims? ADHD parents?

Nah, let’s not do that. Let me remind the school board that segregation was determined to be harmful decades ago. Stop insulting people of color by having low expectations about their ability to speak in a meeting. And stop promoting segregation.

Matthew Barry