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Opinion

Ending the ignorance of cultures

ending the ignorance In Bothell, the number of minorities living in the area is only a handful. The most obvious diversity between people lies in their different sexes. Still, in these quiet neighborhoods, you find in the schools the diverse teachings of many cultures.
   You may ask yourself, why is this? Well, these students will not spend their whole lives in their safe haven. They will someday move on and will need to be able to handle people whom they might not necessarily have grown up with.
   Awhile back, I had the privilege of speaking with Wynne Estes (the head of the Multicultural Committee of the Northshore School District) about how they have implemented a multicultural curriculum instead of basic white teachings.
   "We have changed the way that we teach students in social studies classes because we feel that the teachers really have to be sensitive to the cultures in our world because they have an effect on everyone. Through the years, I think that the teachers have become more sensitive to bases of racial harassment and have begun to feel non-tolerant towards any form of harassment."
   I also had a chance to talk to her about why the policies have changed from the past.
   "Through the years, we have realized the wide variety of cultures there are out there, and by not teaching them to our students, we are hurting them."
   I, as a student in the Northshore school district, have experienced firsthand these new teachings and feel that it is substantially important to learn about other cultures and their ways.
   To be honest, before this program I didn't know the difference between Shintoism and Hinduism, or Buddhism and Taoism. Frankly, I thought that in Asia there was only one basic religion. I had no idea that there were so many.
   My point is this: Today's society is growing larger and larger, and in it, businesses are spreading their communications out globally. It is essential to understand and be enlightened of other cultures and how they specifically might do business differently than we might do here in America.
   In my opinion, through these teachings, we are one step closer to ending the ignorance of cultures.

Ben Nelson, Bothell