From the Scripps Association of Families and Parent Leadership Council Co-chairs Cheryl and David Scheidemantle P’17
As children, we were taught that religion and politics were taboo for genteel discourse because of the controversy they engender. As adults, we realize that controversy is unavoidable, particularly at a vibrant academic institution such as Scripps, where we and our students learn to embrace controversy as a high manifestation of critical thinking. Having in mind the words of physicist Niels Bohr, “The opposite of one profound truth may very well be another profound truth,” we arrive at the topic at hand: politics.
Politics is no stranger to the Scripps campus. Last year, pundits, bloggers, online commenters, and media outlets unleashed criticism on our students for supposed intolerance of divergent perspectives. It was gratifying that even the critics acknowledged Scripps as a “prestigious women’s college” standing tall on the national stage. The criticism, though, struck us as ill-founded and opportunistic. As Daniel Siegel explains in Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain (2015), students confront grave problems of injustice with deep passion and pursue their own profound truths with a conviction so strong that, in the eyes of critics, it masquerades as rigidity. Activism borne of the student mindset offers an opportunity for societal adaptation, as older adults are prodded “to find solutions to the grave problems that our and previous adult generations have created in this world.”
Inspired by student inquisitiveness and activism, we are challenged as parents to examine our own beliefs, biases, and complacencies in a fresh light. Through engagement with other Scripps parents about the shared campus experiences of our students, we are exposed to alternative points of view and the profound truths of others. With the wisdom gained from age and these experiences, we can prepare ourselves as parents to usher our students into mature adulthood, modeling tolerance for divergent political perspectives. We hope you will also join us in modeling a lifetime of service for our students by sharing your time, talent, and treasure with Scripps. Please visit families.scrippscollege.edu.
Cheryl and David Scheidemantle P’17
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