America's history is messy; it's best to understand it.
The community meeting at Washburn High School in Minneapolis ("Washburn doll-hanging ignites public discussion, education," Jan. 24) stressed the need to better educate all students about the history that makes the incident so hurtful.
Yet many still dispute this need ("Education plan reopens divide on U.S. history," Jan. 22). Critics say the proposed revision of Minnesota's social-studies standards favor an "America the Ugly" narrative of U.S. history. They say "there is too much focus on slavery and oppression of American Indians and too little on American exceptionalism."
Isn't that the very attitude that needs to change, so that students grasp the gravity of our past to prevent a divided future? We can't have it both ways. I applaud the Washburn students, parents, administrators and community members who are pushing for a more-thorough approach.
KATIE JOHNSON, MINNEAPOLIS
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