Betty Wytias and Robert Sobel: Create acts of service


I wrote this in response to Dr. Lynn Kelley's letter to the editor (Jan. 27 Steamboat Pilot & Today).

We live in Denver and were made aware that your schools did not observe the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. We were shocked, incredulous and, in all honesty, angry to learn this, especially considering what your community had experienced with and through Randall Nelson's ordeal.

We were "introduced" to Randall by the Denver Post a few weeks ago, and out of support and solidarity, have forged an electronic friendship with Randall's family and ours, as we too have a 15-year-old son who struggles with understanding race, prejudice and racism as a white child who has friends of all races. A day of inaction is the antithesis of what Rev. King taught, and while laudable and commendable that Black History Month is observed and used as a learning opportunity, ignoring the Rev. King's legacy through non-observance of the holiday is not just a missed opportunity but is an insult to all of those who have worked themselves to their bones and beyond for human rights, human dignity and mutual respect - all the things we are supposed to be teaching our children.

In keeping with the spirit of opportunity, what if next year Steamboat Springs students undertake similar acts of service that the Vail students undertake. Please read about what Vail students - even the elementary schoolers - have undertaken in honor of MLK Day. Additionally, I am sure that Randall and his friends, family and allies will be encouraging their fellow students, friends and teachers to study the Web site for ideas for your students.

Perhaps our son and his interracial student body at Denver East High could join forces with your students on Jan. 19, 2009, to create acts of service that would truly make Rev. King - and all of us - proud.

Betty Wytias and Robert Sobel



bloggyblog 9 years, 2 months ago

i was raised colorblind. the reason i settled in steamboat was because of the open-mindness and generosity of the people i met here. i realize there may excist a small minority of narrow minded racist lowlifes in steamboat but the vast majority are really good people, especially the kids! its not fair to judge them based on administrative decisions they have no say over. if you took the time to get to know them, rather then judge them based on what you read, it would become evident that most students believe in tolerance, equality and open-mindness. Steamboat is NOT a racist town.


justathought 9 years, 2 months ago

It could be there was already enough days away from school, and enough paid holidays for government employees. Where does it stop, what holiday do you drop to pick up another one, or do we keep adding more days off? Tie MLK day in with presidents day and call it leaders day then we aren't racists and do not lose another day of production.


twostroketerror 9 years, 2 months ago

I like justathoughts idea. From my experience as a Howelson liftie in the 90's, the last thing these kids need is yet another day off.


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