Those of us who are married most likely remember those early years, or not-so-early years, when we got ticked off with our spouse and decided the “silent treatment” was what he or she deserved. This often led to deeper misunderstanding and problems.
Fortunately, as the years went on, most of us realized that sitting down with our spouse and talking through the issue worked much better and solved it much quicker.
One can go on and on about the benefits of communicating — such as doctors being upfront with their patients about a serious illness, bosses sitting down with employees and discussing their job performance, or parents having a give-and-take session with their children. And the list goes on.
Sometimes this can be painful, but more often than not, it has a much better conclusion than if the situation is left to fester.
On Dec. 6, 2012, Grand Haven Area Public Schools received a request from the federal Office of Civil Rights to provide information including video surveillance and communication involving racial harassment from the 2011-12 and 2012-13 school years. And when did most of the students, their families and the community become aware of this? Most of us first heard about it when the Grand Haven Tribune broke the story months later after hearing details from the victims’ families.
What would have happened if school officials had acted when this racism issue first raised its ugly head and had held an all-school assembly to detail the problem, sent letters to parents, and notified the community about what was going on, what they were doing about it and asked for their help?
One would think those actions would have, at the very least, prevented future racial attacks by making more people aware of what happened and the seriousness of the incidents.
Bad things have a tendency to grow when operating in the “dark,” but often come to a screeching halt or at least slow down when some “sunlight” shines in.
And then there was the sparsely attended “public” forum on racism at the high school, led by the Lakeshore Ethnic Diversity Alliance. About 40 parents and other members of the community showed up at the school that has some 2,000 students, hundreds of teachers and administrators, and is located in a community of tens of thousands of people.
Was it that no one cares? We don’t think so.
It appears the meeting's time and location were not communicated very well. We believe it’s fair to say that most people did not know it was happening.
It’s time to start talking to each other!
Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung and Fred VandenBrand. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to firstname.lastname@example.org or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.