Letter: Arjit Roshan, Sterling

Editor: I am a 2017 alumnus of Potomac Falls High School, writing this letter for Loudoun parents in about Tuesday night’s unruly school board meeting. 

By observing the impassioned speeches, righteous singing, and ugly violence at Tuesday night’s raucous meeting, you’d be forgiven for thinking that public school policy on gender and “critical race theory” is an extremely high-stakes issue that will determine how your children view the world. 

If it’s any consolation, teachers will not determine your children’s political views and personal beliefs. You can all calm down. 

Your child is flooded with political content from peers and media personalities that they hold more credible than school teachers—whether it be through their friends’ Instagram stories, Youtube lectures, or trendy Tik Toks. If they go to college, they’ll probably have to take some gen-ed social science class that’ll explore these issues anyway. 

Teachers cannot control the deluge of ideas kids are exposed to, but they can help them engage with it. Turn the conversation away from the content of teaching, and toward giving students the analytical tools to navigate different ideas critically and thoughtfully. 

Teach students that there are multiple lenses to look at history, some that focus on the advancement of our ideals and others on the reproduction of our deepest failures—namely racial discrimination. Make sure students know there is a vigorous and open debate about gender, and create an environment where they can learn to talk about it with respect for one another. Part of that is making sure all kids feel safe in school—in their identities and in their bathrooms. Validating preferred pronouns, while encouraging gender non-conforming students to use single use bathrooms and changing areas is the most pragmatic and interest balancing policy-bundle here. 

If you think that public school curriculum determines what your child believes, you are delusional. Kids have their own agenda. Reflect: Was your vote determined by what you recited on your SOLs? 

Choosing the narratives and ideas that are “right” isn’t important, the kids will decide that themselves. Schools need pluralism, not partisan doctrine. Train students on how to have respectful and reflective discussions on controversial issues in the safety of a classroom, so they’re not only seeing the conversation play out in the angry and broken media environment your generation created, and are now bringing to our school board meetings. We need our next generation of citizens to be smarter and kinder than the embarrassment we saw Tuesday night. 

Parents and teachers, don’t worry too much about shaping your kids, they’ll be the ones shaping you and the world you live in. In the meantime, why don’t you worry about growing up yourselves. 

Arjit Roshan, Sterling

5 thoughts on “Letter: Arjit Roshan, Sterling

  • 2021-06-23 at 6:52 pm

    Arjit, the answer about why is because you are wrong. Schools have been used by authoritarian regimes throughout history to control the populace starting with the children first. Whether it was Germany or Russia or China, using kids to report on their parents is a tried and true tactic. The fact that you know so little about history shows the kind of education you received from LCPS.

    We see it constantly in polls taken about citizen knowledge of history. In the 50s and 60s, kids were more knowledgeable than today’s generations. And the propaganda that goes on today is unbelievable. Let’s take climate change and the following questions:

    1. Does more life exist (more organisms, plants, etc.) when the planet is generally warmer or cooler?

    2. Do more species and a greater variety of life exist when the planet is generally warmer or cooler?

    3. Is more arable land available if the Earth heats up by a few degrees Fahrenheit or remains the same?

    The answer to all of these questions is YES!!! But our kids do not know this because they are being brainwashed by Leftist propaganda in school. No YouTube video or vide game is teaching them about these subjects yet they parrot wrong answers on all these questions. Schools could note that there will be winners and losers in climate change based on where their land currently resides but they are either omitting or lying about the basic facts above. There is a reason much of our petroleum comes from the age of the dinosaurs when the Earth was warmer and much more life existed (both in total and in species).

    Unfortunately, you neither learned accurate facts nor how to think when you were in K-12. That is what many of us are trying to prevent for our students.

  • 2021-06-23 at 10:26 pm

    In the hands of a skillful indoctrinator, the average student not only thinks what the indoctrinator wants him to think . . . but is altogether positive that he has arrived at his position by independent intellectual exertion. This man is outraged by the suggestion that he is the flesh-and-blood tribute to the success of his indoctrinators. –William F. Buckley, Jr.

  • 2021-06-24 at 7:53 pm

    Most students (high school and lower) get their “news” from social media, which is as reliable as the “pass it down” game we used to play in school. Teachers absolutely impart their political and social beliefs on children all the time. When my 8th grade daughter told her teacher that she didn’t care who she voted for (it was math class) and she just wanted to get back to the subject, the teacher kicked her out of the classroom. Of course the teacher knew she made a big mistake and might get herself in trouble so she chased my daughter down the hall as she was heading for the principal’s office, and begged her to stop and told her she would “do anything” my daughter wanted to keep her from talking to the principal. My other kids have all said the teachers love to share their political opinions as news/history.

  • 2021-06-25 at 11:17 am

    I suggest, Mr. Roshan, that you sit down and have a conversation with people who grew up under some of the worst totalitarian regimes. Ask them questions and then LISTEN to their answers. Don’t just hear them and be polite… LISTEN. Ask someone who grew up in Germany or Austria… or the former Soviet Union or its satellite nations… or China… or Cuba. You will hear commonalities among all of them… how they got into the minds of the people through the children and the education system… and how they are watching history repeat itself here in the US, and are afraid. They lived it. They don’t want to live it again.

    As an experiment, take anything you hear that you think sounds good regarding race or ethnicity and invert the races or ethnicities, putting the one you’re trying to help in the position of the one you’re trying to say is doing the oppressing. If it sounds racist and disgusting after you swap them, then it was racist in the first place. You cannot lift someone up by dragging someone else down. You need to reach out a hand and help pull them up.

  • 2021-07-02 at 9:37 am

    While I admire Arjit’s willingness to engage on this subject, I don’t take the the views of a 2017 high school alumnus too seriously .
    Like many young adults, Arjit seems confident in opinions for which he has very limited life experience. Growing up is more than reaching a certain age or level of education.
    Just because there are many other perspectives available to young people, doesn’t mean it is right or appropriate for educators to indoctrinate students.
    Weak arguments are indicative of weak(immature) minds.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: