Letter: Enlightening our children is a strength

Sauk Valley Letters to the Editor

To the Editor:

The Founding Fathers based many core principles found in both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution on beliefs shared by the writers of the Enlightenment.

The men who created our democracy believed that power should rest with the people and that human beings were equal by nature.

They tolerated religious diversity and understood that rational people could bring about positive change. They had faith in science and medicine. They thought that those who chose their leaders needed to be educated so they could make reasonable decisions.

A strong public education system in our country is necessary to prepare future citizens to make sound choices when voting for their leaders. Children must have the educational opportunity to question and challenge, to explore and investigate, to imagine and create. Children must be enlightened for a democracy to meet the challenges of today and the future.

Sadly, many now see enlightenment – or it’s simplified synonym, “woke” – as a negative characteristic. They champion limiting access to books, history, and challenging concepts.

It is sad so many are fearful of how our country can potentially grow and change that they feel compelled to limit educational opportunities.

When we limit what our children can learn, we limit the potential of our country.

I am not afraid of allowing children to learn the truth about our history and culture. I am much more afraid of an unenlightened citizenry choosing its leaders.

Sarah Bingaman