Letters to the editor
Colfax handled word search controversy admirably
As a shomer mitzvoth Jew, a mother and a professional, I wanted to take a moment to respond to the article about a teacher at Colfax who used a word search to teach about the Holocaust (“Word search puzzles used at Colfax to teach Holocaust,” Jan. 20).
My husband and I have four kids in Colfax, and this is our seventh year being part of the Colfax family. In all those years, we have developed great relationships with many of the teachers and staff as well as with Dr. Tamara Sanders-Woods, the principal of the school. Whenever there was an issue, Dr. Woods always took the time to answer my calls, and she gave each problem the time and attention it deserved. This time was no different.
The word search in question was distributed to our oldest daughter (the great-granddaughter of a Holocaust survivor) and when I saw it, I picked up the phone and called the assistant principal. When my phone rang again, it was both the principal and assistant principal on the line.
They wanted to let me know that they had received my message, the word search was definitely a problem and they were looking into it to make sure it never happened again.
We were all in agreement.
So, yes, this word search was not appropriate for either the subject matter or the grade level. But it was one person who chose to do something that was not part of the planned curriculum or even approved for the classroom. As soon as Dr. Woods found out about the situation, she made a point to sit down and call all of the parents in the eighth-grade classes.
All of the parents.
She did not take this lightly, and it showed in the way she handled it. I couldn’t have asked for a better response from the school.
We’ve had nothing but great experiences with Colfax, and we will continue to recommend the school to anyone who asks. We appreciate all the support we’ve received over the years.
Ready to acknowledge Israel’s faults
American Jews, at least those of a certain age, cherish the state of Israel and feel protective of it. Israel to us is little David confronting Goliath. We have overlooked and justified Israel’s flaws. The recent Chronicle poll (Jan. 13), in which 58% of respondents said that they “didn’t like” the new government of Israel overall, and 19% said they would “wait and see,” suggests that we are ready to acknowledge that Israel can have faults. As members of J Street, we believe in Israel. We are pained to see its government indulging anti-democratic actions that can only lead to fracture and disaster.