Last night we were discussing something at the dinner table, I don’t recall what, when out of the blue my daughter proudly asks, “do you know how Martin Luther King died?”
We love it when she shows off, of course, so we took the bait and asked how he died. Imagine my surprise when she very boldly and happily announced that he died of old age. Actually it started with, “my teacher told me . . .”
*huge, heavy sigh*
It took, oh, every ounce of self-restraint I had not to rant about this in front of her and outright call her teacher a liar. (*Of course, my husband’s answer to this was, “we lie about history all the time.”*) We calmly explained that that is not what happened. That didn’t go over well. She was proud of her facts, you see.
I’m not okay with it. I don’t think she needs gory details or anything. I don’t think she needs very many details. However, it’s okay for her to know that a bad man shot him with a gun and that is what killed Martin Luther King. Also, that it was a very sad event and we lost a good person because of the actions of that person. That is okay for her to know. And she should know it. It’s an important event in our history.
I don’t shelter my daughter from very much, huh? We suspect that’s the reason for saying it was old age is perhaps the teacher was trying to shelter them from something seemingly sinister from our history (and maybe from parents that would be upset at their child’s innocence being lessened – of course, it doesn’t help that I’m the exact opposite kind of parent). We’ve always taken a very open and honest approach with her, trying to explain things in an age-appropriate way. It’s important to me that she be presented the truth. Real life she’ll be sorting out for herself for the next few decades, but she needs just the facts to start out with.
I don’t have a need to yell at talk to her teacher about it, but I do want her to know the truth.