I frequently worry that writing publicly will negatively impact my ability to create a safe and inclusive classroom for all of my students. I worry that my decision to publicly disagree with the LDS Church might make my LDS students feel I dislike them, or don't value their contributions in class. I worry that conservative students might feel intimidated to share their opinions, or feel the need to constantly defend their position in order to be taken seriously. I don't believe any student should feel afraid to speak up in class, nor do I believe my job is to coerce students into adopting my interpretations of history. I do believe that, as a teacher and authority figure, I'm granted a position of power, so it is my responsibility to let students know their opinions and ideas are valued, even if they differ from my own.—Salt Lake City WeeklyThe Long View
On the morning of June 6, 2013, Davis Police Department squad cars rolled up to the group home at 2100 Fifth Street. More than a dozen officers in bulletproof vests made their way past the facility’s memorial planter bearing painted handprints of children. They were no strangers to the location.
For more than a year, officers had been grappling with problems at the home, one of California’s largest residential facilities for emotionally damaged kids. They had repeatedly returned runaways. They had coaxed suicidal teens off rooftops. There were reports of fights, drug use, children having sex with adults. In a single week in the spring, Davis police responded to 74 calls. On May 29, though, there had been a report of a different order: An 11-year-old girl at the home claimed that boys from the facility had raped her. Two boys had been arrested. After months of unraveling, the home had come undone.—ProPublica