Thank you to Helen Hanlon for her letter concerning the education of Native students. As the parent of four half-Tlingit children,I find the idea that they cannot succeed in school because of their ancestry insulting. My children sit in the same classroom as children of other races and are taught the same lessons. In fact, they are afforded additional educational opportunities through Indian Education.
A lack of education for many Native children may be due to funding issues for schools in rural communities. As Ms. Hanlon points out, this is a legislative matter and citizens should bring concerns about school funding to their elected officials, not put down the educators.
Children should feel that they can succeed in their endeavors, not given excuses why they cannot succeed. To tell Native students that they are not as smart as children of other races or that they do not have the ability to pass the same tests as other students is degrading and racist. I am sure that is not the message we want to send our children.
Editor's note: This letter first ran on Sunday, but with an editing error that changed the meaning of the first paragraph. The Empire regrets the error.