March 27, 2008, , letter to Art Johnson, by Judith Kraft.
Arthur C. Johnson, Superintendent
The School Department of Palm Beach County, FL
3340 Forest Hill Blvd. C 316
West Palm Beach, FL 33406-5869
I have become a supporter of the Toussaint L Ouverture School for Arts and Social Justice because I believe they offer a valuable alternative for students who have difficulty, for one reason or another, in mainstream schools. I am a social worker and psychotherapist, so I appreciate a public institution being sensitive to individual needs and situations, teaching via developing the inner connections of children to themselves through Art, then each other as a diverse community, then caring adults who can then teach academics simultaneously with ways to cope with adversity. Prejudice, discrimination,and social hardship are in their context, and the school attempts to communicate a breadth of understanding about the human condition, so they learn non-violent working together as a community, being the change they wish to see, rather than reactive acting out anger against felt oppression.
Expanding this model of education would nurture young adults in a way that would improve academic achievement to succeed in the main stream. It would have a likely effect of decreasing the appeal of joining gangs, where domination, retribution and violence prevail as means to power.
Therefore, I appeal to you to ensure that Toussaint L Ouverture be given a facilitya stable location within the public school system, be recognized as a successful model, and be given support to continue in the long term.
Thank you for your consideration.
Briny Breezes, FL 33435